Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Four Weeks

Soooo…. It’s been four weeks since Joaquin was born…

Those of you who have had babies — specially moms — will probably understand that as much as I’ve wanted to write about my experiences, and share that christmas e-card template I promised, it is really hard to get much done between baby feedings… It takes 30 to 50 minutes to nurse the baby. Then, it takes 30 to 90 minutes to make the baby sleep. Many times you’re left with only one hour before the next feeding… As much as you’d love to use that hour writing a blog post, other things become priority: Things as basic as eating, taking a shower, and maybe rushing a short nap.

For those who haven’t experienced parenthood, that’s my life these days… A day begins at about 5 or 6 am:

  • Boob, burp, diaper, boob, put baby to sleep, GO BACK TO SLEEP
  • Boob, burp, diaper, boob, change baby clothes because he just pooped all over them, put baby to sleep, HAVE BREAKFAST
  • Boob, burp, diaper, boob, put baby to sleep, TAKE A SHOWER
  • Boob, burp, diaper, boob, put baby to sleep, HAVE LUNCH
  • Boob, burp, diaper, boob, get someone to put the baby to sleep, DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF
  • Boob, burp, diaper, boob, put baby to sleep or have daddy do it, GO TO BED
  • Pump breasts at 2 am while daddy feeds baby with a bottle of yesterdays’ pumped milk

That “Do something for yourself” usually only leaves enough time to read email and upload a few daily photos of the baby, or maybe watch a movie while the baby sleeps on your lap, or just take a quick nap. That’s it.

However, when you finally stop being concerned by the fact that your life has turned that basic, and when you realize that it’s not like you’re getting tons of email to read, and when you decide that it’s ok to hibernate a few months and miss what’s going on in the world and the blogosphere… you start enjoying almost every minute you spend with your baby. And as the weeks go by, he starts discovering things, practicing his smile while he sleeps, looking at you in the eye… He stops acting around you like you are a faceless boob, and so you start playing more with him, and one day he finally looks at you with his eyes wide open, and smiles — THREE TIMES IN A ROW!

And that makes you incredibly happy.

play movie

Click on the image, and press the play button (the movie won’t start playing automatically)

This short video didn’t capture Joaquin’s first smile. However, it illustrates his current routine right after getting a milk drinkacho. Here you’ll mostly see him act sleepy right after the immediate drunkness of milk, try to push some poop out, practice his smile, stretch, and just plain be darn cute. On the last few frames he’s wearing new clothes because he just pooped all over his yellow and white onesies, his brown pants, and spit up all over himself in the changing table.

Oh baby… I’m having to do so much laundry these days…

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If my experience and words speak to you, I invite you to learn about my mentoring service for autism parents.

Intentional parenting, development, and education for our children is my passion. My purpose is to empower you with the emotional and practical support you need to thrive as you reach for every outcome you dream of for you and your child’s life.

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  1. On , Joey wrote:

    And thank God for the invention of the swing! It saves about 1 hour a day of holding him to put him to sleep.

  2. On , KSR wrote:

    SIMPLE pleasures……afterall, that’s what makes for tru happiness….Enjoy this because you only get to take this ride one time….even when (if) you have more kids, the next time around you’ll be “veterans” and it will be a completely different person bringing his/her own twist to it all…….what a joy to be consumed with merely burp and poop….and don’t worry, far sooner than you want, you’ll have back all that time to do something for yourself and wonder what was it that you wanted to do anyway???

  3. On , Marla wrote:

    I’m glad to hear slowing down is not just driving you insane. It’s so fun to realize that something, especially something so tiny, can completely stop your world and change the way you see it.