I’m five weeks into my life as a mother. It’s certainly been a roller coaster and I’ve gone from near rock bottom to back to myself again.
I did so much research during my pregnancy about pregnancy and labor and delivery, but I didn’t really do much research into actually having a baby. Of course all my years of babysitting meant that I could keep a child alive, but I was not prepared for actually being a mother. Nor was I prepared for the rush of hormones I got a week postpartum that made me feel like dying. OK dying is a little dramatic, but I felt more depressed and hopeless for the first time in a very long time.
I knew about middle of the night feedings, sleep deprivation and changing diapers, but I was not ready for the hours of screaming/crying that was coming my way. Our adorable-y sweet Maxwell may have what is called colic. We’ve experienced multiple nights of 2-4 hours of screaming/crying starting anywhere from 4-11 p.m. and going as late as 2 a.m. It’s awful. He screams until he’s red in the face and he’s sweating. Certain things will soothe him temporarily: white noise (downloaded sounds, the vacuum or dust buster), sucking on our fingers (he won’t take a pacifier), and sometimes rocking works. There is nothing worse than seeing your child scream like that and not be able to do anything to make them feel better. I ordered The Happiest Baby On The Block book which has been recommended by many, many people as the “cure” for colic. We’ll see.
Other than the screaming, Max is doing really well. He’s growing so fast, and weighs 11 lbs 5 oz. His hands are finding their way into his mouth, he may be a thumb sucker. He’s sleeping in 3 or 4 hour blocks throughout the night which is pretty easy on me, and I think I’m sleeping better now than when I was pregnant.
As for myself, I’m doing much better. This whole postpartum depression has been pretty shitty. I did end up getting help in the form of medication and it has made all the difference in the world. My main problem now is the anxiety. I’ve had problems with anxiety in the past, and it is certainly not a welcome thing. I sometimes have this holy shit feeling of how am I supposed to do this day in and day out? It doesn’t last long, and I do want to do this-believe me, but I just can’t wrap my head around how parenthood has hit me like a ton of bricks and knocked me on my ass. I love my son, but this is not how I expected things to be. I’m not really sure how I expected things to be. I certainly didn’t expect to be recovering from surgery, and dealing with all the emotions surrounding that while caring for a newborn. This is not easy. I didn’t expect it to be, but geez. I am getting pretty excited for what’s to come though. I know the rewarding parts of parenthood have yet to come, his first smile, laugh, rolling over-you get the picture. I can’t wait for him to he a little bit older and be able to interact with him more.
It’s difficult to think of what my life was sometimes. I miss it. I miss having the freedom of being able to go places whenever I wanted without having to think of how it will effect nap time or feedings. I will say that outings haven’t been an issue. I get out of the house every day with Max and he’s pretty easy going while out and about. It’s actually pretty nice because I get a lot of complements on how cute he is, and how much hair he has. That makes me a proud and happy mama.
Blah! OK, I’m done with the pity party. For now.
I’ve decided to take a photo of Max each month for the first two years of his life. Here’s his 1 month photo:
I had an idea of how I thought this photo would look. Max would lay on his back and his big blue eyes would look directly into the camera. Not so much. It’s OK though. He’s got a photographer for his mother so he’ll learn sooner or later.