The only way to describe the last 6 weeks is like I’ve been thrown into some crazy ass super powerful vortex which has completely turned my life inside out. It’s so annoying when you are pregnant and people can’t stop telling you how much your life is about to change. Yeah, no shit, I’m having a baby. You KNOW things are going to change and you spend hours thinking about the things you are no longer going to be able to do and exactly all the ways in which life is going to be different. But you really have no idea until you are in it.
The first four weeks were a total blur. They were hard. Like, really hard. I’m not going to lie – I struggled. I had the baby blues and absolutely no sleep which in and of itself is a form of torture. Those first weeks are crazy making times. I fantasized about running away from home – if only to a hotel for a few nights to get some sleep. I yearned for my old life back – being able to have a hot shower, being able to eat and of course getting my regular 9 hours of shut eye. They warned us in our baby class that the baby blues would hit and you would find yourself crying for absolutely no reason whatsoever which wasn’t exactly true. I always knew why I was crying – I was tired as hell. My baby wouldn’t stop crying. I thought I was doing something wrong as a mother. I wanted my old life back. But not really. The weird thing is when you have a baby you want a break so bad but when you get one all you can do is think about the baby.
Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t all bad. There is something to be said for these first days. They are every bit as amazing as they are challenging. Yes you may lose all sense of yourself but you now have this tiny human that you created that curls into your chest and doesn’t want you to let her go. You are her whole world. And she is just so perfect that half the time you just stare at her wondering how the hell you created something so perfect without even trying.
I got three really good pieces of advice that helped me out in the first few weeks. The first from my midwife. She said whenever you are feeling in despair, your motto needs to be “these are early days. this too shall pass”. During those sleepless nights I had to remind myself of this many times. Everyone says it goes by so fast but I found those first three weeks or so went very, very slowly. You feel as if it’s never going to pass – life is never going to get easier and you will never sleep again. The second thing my midwife told me was that babies can be assholes. It’s true. We had a few episodes of inconsolable crying. For hours. Loudly. This is totally normal but as a first time parent you can’t help but feel you are doing something wrong. The third kind of ties into the second and it came from my prenatal yoga teacher. She said when people have an easy baby they think they are doing something right; when you have a tough baby you think you are doing something wrong. In reality, babies are born with their own personalities an neither is true. This was so helpful in reminding me that my baby was just being a baby and I was doing my best to help her get used to life outside the womb.
Now that we are at the six week mark I can honestly say it does get better. I’m finally sleeping (a bit) more. We have settled into more of a routine. Baby Z has really come into her own and is much calmer and not as fussy. We have gotten to know each other – she lets me know what she wants and I can read her cues to give her what she needs. We have started getting out of the house much more going to mommy & me yoga and drop in baby classes. It’s much easier to enjoy being a parent when you have a bit of your sanity back. I’m pretty much obsessed with her every move. She has the funniest personality and I am really going to miss all of her quirky baby things she does when she is older. For example she has a flair for the dramatic. She hates waking up so wakes up in a dead cry. She stretches and groans and grunts and makes the biggest deal out of having to wake up. But once she’s up she’s totally happy and smiling. Or how she sleeps with the fingers on one hand extended. Or uses my pillow to sleep on like an adult. Adorbs.
I have so much more to share but I think I will save it for my next post because this is already a novel. In the craziness of the first few weeks we managed to sneak a photo shoot in there with the amazing Chelsea Warren Photography. Here are a few of my favorites from our lifestyle session: