I'm writing this while I should be doing the piles of laundry that tend to accumulate quickly these days, while trying to clean the apartment... these times are few and far between these days as I struggle to balance my time between taking care of my baby and taking care of my home. Jaden isn't the best sleeper yet, so I have to make the most of my downtime. I have "thank you" cards to write, forms to submit, laundry to be folded, closets/drawers to be organized, etc etc... but I just want to write today.
I will admit that being a mom to a newborn is hard. A lot harder than I thought. We have struggled in the last few weeks with Jaden having what we are convinced is colic. He cries for long hours of the day... sometimes up to 3-4 hours non stop. He is fussy when he is awake and really the only time he is peaceful is when he sleeps. The times he has been peaceful and awake have been few and far between. So it has been really hard to enjoy our sweet baby during those times. We have tried everything to help him... I have changed my diet (since I'm nursing), we have used several different remedies, but our little love has an irritable tummy and it has been hard on everyone, especially him. It hurts us to see him in pain, but as we have made certain changes, it has gotten a little better. Night times are the hardest, as he is usually inconsolable from 7pm-11pm, give or take a couple hours.
However, Jaden had a great weekend on Friday and Saturday... he got his weekly chiropractic adjusment (they do not "crack" his bones- don't freak out) to help with his tummy and we could tell that he felt tons better. We had planned on going on a date on Sunday so we could celebrate Valentine's Day and Jordan's parents were going to keep Jaden. They got over here and he was hysterical... I felt horrible leaving. I cried when we left, feeling guilty for leaving him when he was so upset. But my husband and I desperately needed some time together, just the 2 of us. Jordan's mom was so sweet in sending me pictures and texts to let me know everything was fine and that he had calmed down. About an hour and a half into the date, I got a little misty eyed and realized I missed the little guy. I'm so used to him being close to me all the time, either holding him, wearing him, or him just asleep in the next room.
As hard as this has been, I am in love with my child. I missed him so much while we were gone. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Jordan and am so so glad that we got some time to ourselves... I don't know why it was so strange to me that I missed Jaden. All I have wanted the last few days is a break- 5-10 minutes where he didn't need me or where he wasn't crying... 45 minutes to go to the grocery store without worrying he would have a melt down... 2 hours where I could nap and there wasn't so much to be done around the house. A night out with my husband...
A lot of people gave me negative experiences about having a newborn and I didn't listen to them and I'm glad I didn't. My heart in writing this isn't negative or full of regret. I just want to be real about what we're experiencing. For instance, NO ONE told me how hard nursing would be. That we might have issues latching, or about engorgement and how painful it is, what a time commitment it can be, how it feels like you're just being used as a milk hose at all hours of the day. I never even thought this would be a challenge and so far it has been tough. (but we are finally seeing the light! yay!) A lot of people told me babies sleep all the time... no one told me what to do if your baby doesn't sleep. ever. I didn't realize how overwhelmed I would feel the day my mom left to go back to Atlanta and I was left taking care of the baby on my own. I didn't know how my emotions and hormones would be in OVERDRIVE and I would be crying all the time over nothing... seriously nothing.
I have been learning so much these last 3.5 weeks. I have learned that it's okay to ask for help. I have wanted to do everything on my own and not ask for anything or feel like I was burdening anyone. But really, I didn't want to admit or believe that I couldn't do everything. I was/am prideful about asking for help. I have tried to be supermom/woman for the last few weeks and it finally sunk in that I just can't do everything... and that it's okay and that people want to help. I have learned patience like I never knew before. Waking up 4 times in the middle of the night to a crying baby when you JUST got back into deep sleep, being in the middle of showering and having to get out because your baby is waking up and crying... I have learned that it's not about me when I have to choose to feed, carry, change, rock, soothe my baby when I have needs that aren't met, the house is a disaster, and I need a shower and to make myself lunch.
BUT... I have also learned love like I have never known before. To be the only one that can soothe my baby... to sing to him and hear his cries and breathing change and calm, to be the one that he wants all the time, to be the one sustaining my baby's nutrition, to have such a protectiveness over someone, to hear his precious coo's and noises when he's full and content and falling asleep. I am in love with this kid. I am in love with being a mother. I am more in love with my husband watching him be a father. I have learned more about God as my Father now that I am a parent myself. I have learned that Jaden is having to learn right along with me, that we are in this together.
It has been a challenge, yes. But these days are short and few. The sweet moments always outweigh the hard ones. Today- Jaden woke up at 8am and it is now 1pm and he's been asleep for 30 min after crying all morning. I have laundry all over the place, I haven't showered, and our grocery list is forever long. I finally asked for help and my mother in law is coming over in a bit so that I can go. I feel peaceful in knowing that I don't have to be perfect... that I am not failing at being a mother. Although I want to be, it's impossible and I can't hold myself to that standard. I am in a couple online mom's group with a bunch of "supermoms" and I have held myself to that standard because I thought everyone else did too... but now I believe that all of us moms (and dads) truly do the best that we can everyday. We take it minute by minute.
Please don't misunderstand that I am being negative by any means... I am being honest about my experience. I would not trade it for the world. I am exhausted, but my heart is FULL FULL FULL. I love everything about being a mama. I know that the Lord has called me to be Jaden's mommy and so He will equip me.
**PS. I have a lot of friends who are getting ready to be new mama's. One thing I would recommend (especially if you have a history of anxiety or depression and are worried about post-partum depression) is getting your placenta encapsulated. It was the best thing I did thus far. I know it sounds gross and weird, but if you can find someone around you that does it, the benefits are unreal. It helps to balance out your crazy hormones (seriously, I noticed a HUGE difference when I forgot to take it), helps aid in milk production, gives you a little more energy... and the nutrients that are in it are amazing. They just dehydrate it and crush it into powder and put it in a capsule. If you deliver at a hospital, you'll have to be really adamant about them giving it to you. Ya'll may think I'm super crazy, but it worked for me and a lot of other mama's and I highly recommend it to everyone!