Over the past several weeks, I’ve received a number of comments about how I make life with a newborn look “easy.” Sure, I do! It’s the Internet. It’s like reality TV. I only show you guys the “easy” parts. I mean, would you really want to read a website that is all complain-y and negative? I wouldn’t. Who has time for that?!
Caring for a little person is hard work. It’s actually one of the toughest things I have ever done””both emotionally and physically. But, of course, it’s all worth it (smiles! snuggles!), and I wouldn’t want my life any other way. Even still, the first 6 weeks with Q definitely weren’t a walk in the park either, so here are some honest thoughts and tidbits from my experience so far.
If I had to grade myself on how things went during the first 6 weeks, I’d give myself a B/B+. Things definitely weren’t perfect (far from it at times), but overall I think I adjusted to motherhood without too much trouble. Of course, there were times when I felt totally overwhelmed and frustrated, but, for the most part, I felt like I coped well and developed the new mommy skills that I needed to properly care for Q.
The first several nights home from the hospital, I didn’t sleep at all because I was worried that I wouldn’t hear Q when he cried. Every little noise he made would jolt me awake. My heart would literally skip a beat, so I was on edge the entire night. The only way I could sleep was if I knew Mal was with him, so I’d often go to bed around 7:00 PM while Mal was on baby duty. Over time, however, I realized that I would, in fact, hear Q if he cried, so I eventually got over it and now I can sleep when he does.
I spent so much time sitting on my butt breast feeding Q, I thought I might get bedsores. Truthfully, I hated being so sedentary and asking Mal to do so much for me, but Q needed to eat, so I eventually accepted it and made the best of it. (Instagram photos at all hours of the day? You bet!)
With regard to breast feeding, Q and I were lucky that things went so smoothly. The little guy takes after me and loves to eat, so he got the hang of it right away. If anything, I was the one who was awkward and weird in the beginning! I didn’t know how to hold him and got all anxious when he didn’t latch on right away. But we kept at it and we’re pros now.
I haven’t had any postpartum depression symptoms, but I definitely experienced a case of the “baby blues.” I cried at least once a day for probably a week straight. I’m typically not much of a crier, so I thought I was losing it””I think poor Mal thought I was too! I knew I was being crazy and emotional from postpartum hormones, but I couldn’t stop myself from crying over the littlest things. Eventually, I guess my hormones regulated themselves because I haven’t had any crazy crying bouts since.
Speaking of crying, there was one night that Q cried and cried and cried. I was home alone with him and there seemed like there was nothing I could do to calm him down. When I finally got him to relax, I immediately burst into tears. It was such an intense reaction, it actually surprised me. Seeing my little guy so upset for so long totally broke my heart. I don’t know how parents do it!
At times, I really missed my old social life. Mal and I have great people in our lives, but things are definitely different nowadays. With a newborn, you can’t take an impromptu trip to New York City or stay out all night boozing face without some serious planning or coordination. (Well, at least we haven’t figured it out yet.) Getting to know Q and his schedule has slowly helped us get back into the swing of things, but, truthfully, the first 6 weeks were kind of lonely.
I still have anxiety about taking Q for car rides. Not so much him actually riding in the car, but getting him into the car and hoping (and praying) that he doesn’t get upset. Driving with a crying baby totally stresses me out because I hate not being able to comfort him.
I have moments when I feel like a sucky mother, like when Q spits up all over himself or he turns beet red because he’s crying so hard. I’m trying not to be so hard on myself, but it’s still tough. Mal has been great about giving me pep talks and keeping things in perspective, so life with a newborn gets a little bit easier everyday.
Moms, how were the first 6 weeks for you? Any advice?