A friend sent me a text this morning before 6:00am…
“Sorry it’s early” she said.
“I have a newborn. There’s so such thing as early or late. I’m awake. Always.” I responded.
This particular morning I was awake even though my baby was asleep because I was contemplating whether or not I should get up to pump. It’s the weekend which means my husband was up with our baby at 2:30am giving me a much needed break. But that also means my body missed a feeding and I could feel it. Someone I know recently told me she got mastitis from letting herself get too engorged when her baby slept through the night. That fear along with my aching chest was enough to drag me out of bed for a date with my breast pump.
Will I ever sleep normally again? (please don’t answer that)
The text my friend sent me was a snapshot of this mornings’ newspaper. My father-in-law is pictured on the front page along with our husky and his lab in an article about Spring Lake Park becoming dog friendly. My heart broke a little when I saw the picture because I miss my dog. He’s basically been living with my in-laws since Beau was born. It’s been a huge help…but I miss walking him and seeing him every day. I love that dog.
How long until we find our “new normal” and we can fit him back into our daily life?
I’ll be going back to work soon so I feel an immense pressure to get some structure built into our lives. I can’t even imagine having to go be a professional who deals with people and solves problems, not in my current sleep deprived state. So last night we tried to start a bedtime routine for Beau. Key word: tried. It didn’t go smoothly at all. We’ll try again tonight with some tweaks. Trial and error.
When does it get easier?
People told me the first three weeks would be the hardest. But week five was the hardest for us, by far. I’m not sure if it’s actually getting harder or if the exhaustion is just accumulating. People also told me that he’d have his days and nights figured out by six weeks of age. Well, that is tomorrow so we’ll see if some magical switch flips in his brain but I’m not counting on it. I really need to stop listening to “people”.
My parenting strategy has been to follow the best advice along with my own instincts and intuition. Because I’m his mom. What else is there? Time, I suppose. Give it time, Steph. It will get easier. It has to get easier.
Speaking of time, it’s been 4 hours since I changed Beau’s diaper and brought him to his daddy for his middle of the night feeding. I miss him. I actually miss him. How can you love someone SO much that you miss them after only a few hours even while you’re under the same roof? I didn’t know that was possible. Now I know.
If I could sum up these first weeks of motherhood in one word it would be…
I’m not surprised by the feelings I’ve experienced, I anticipated them. But nothing could have prepared me for the intensity of these feelings. Intense love. Intense loneliness. Intense joy. Intense self doubt. Intense pride. Intense exhaustion. All at once. That’s been my experience of motherhood so far.