Monday, December 12, 2011

i've got the (baby) blues


I'd heard about the baby blues and because I'm naturally more of a melancholy person, I figured I'd end up dealing with them when I finally had a baby.

And I was right.  There is nothing like the exhaustion you experience the first 2 weeks of a new baby.  It's like living with slumber party sickness every day (the kind of feeling you have when you've stayed up way too late at a friend's house and had way too many skittles and oreos) mixed with uncontrollable emotions you've never felt before.

Week 1 - My emotions were off the charts for sure.  Everything made me cry.  I'm not exaggerating when I say "everything."  I was tired but I was also overcome with a love for this little person and I didn't know how to handle it.  I was in charge of this human's life.  He would forever be my son.  Every moment he celebrates, I will celebrate with him.  Every rough spot in life that he has, I will feel also.  I said to Colt, "I don't think my heart can handle loving both of you."  It was true.  It may sound funny, but it was so much love that it was almost painful.  I would hold him or nurse him while crying (bawling) at the same time.  I'd try to sing to him, but the words would choke me up every time.  Week 1 = Crying every day and maybe all day.

Week 2 - The love for Duke was still there but it was paired with a little resentment towards my new lifestyle.  My brain would whirl with these thoughts:  All I'll ever do is change diapers and feed a baby for the rest of my life.  I'm not interesting anymore.  I don't have time for anything I want to do.  I can't ever just lay down for an extended period of time.  I'm never going to sleep ever again.  Being a mom is hard and I don't know if I can do it.  I didn't like the new "me."  It felt like someone had taken over my mind/life.  I mentioned my fear of losing the 'Colt and Claire' with a new baby in a post before Duke was born.  This was the week I realized my fear was a reality.  I cried to Colt one night saying, "You're my favorite part of life," and wondering if I would ever get to spend quality time with him again.  Week 2 = Questioning everything in my life and my ability to be a mother.

Week 3 -  My mind was not totally consumed with negativity and sadness.  There were just moments of it.  Colt and I tried to be more considerate of each other and our feelings and exhaustion.  And although going to the bathroom and getting in the shower seemed like the only ‘me time’ activities I got, I could see how I'll get some more time eventually.  The light was beginning to show.  The best news of all?  There were actually some days that I didn't cry!  This was an accomplishment.  I got out a few times that week and enjoyed interacting with humankind again.  Things weren't easy and I still wasn't getting any good sleep, but I was starting to feel like myself.  That was important.  Week 3 = I think I can, I think I can.

Week 4 - This was a huge week for me.  I started Babywise this week.  If you don't know what that is, I'm going to talk about it a lot in future posts.  If you do know what it is, you probably love it as much as I do.  I will say that it totally saved my life.  This week Duke began to really make changes in how long he slept at night, I felt more in control of everything because of routine, and life was looking brighter!  Week 4 = I'm a mom and I think I like it now!

Not that I would wish those 4 weeks away, but ... kind of.  I can see how down the road I'd say, "Awe, aren't these just the sweetest moments?" to you and your newborn.  At that point, you would want to punch me (just like I wanted to punch some of you ... ohh, I'm half kidding).  My point is that those 4 weeks are nice to have behind me.  Each of those weeks gradually got better and better and even now, they are continuing to be more fun and just a bit easier than the one before.

Hopefully, you soon-to-be first time moms can find rest in knowing that you are not alone if you feel like you've gone crazy and someone from Mars has taken over your body.  There is one thing people said to me over and over that just really sent me into a crazy land ... "It gets better, I promise."  Oh, I hated hearing that.  I hated hearing it because I couldn't imagine it.  But, here I am, saying it to you ... It really does get better.  I promise. :)

6 comments:

  1. It's like you took the words right out of my mouth. Congrats Claire! I hope you have many more hopeful days to balance out the crummy ones.

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  2. I had so many similar feelings the first few weeks of being a mom! I felt guilty for wishing away the first few weeks of my baby's life, but I was honestly so glad when they were over! Thank you for your honesty. We too, found Babywise, and praise the Lord we did! It is great. Not to say there won't be set backs...there will...but it really does continue to get easier. Thanks again for sharing! I think these feelings are more common than most people realize.

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  3. Oh, that first week of constant random crying was SO me...for about three weeks. Wrote a post on it sometime in May or June of 2010 called "The Weepies." But yeah...no fun feeling like a crazy lady AND being responsible for a little person all at the same time! I am already getting my game face on for a bout with the weepies after #2...add in a toddler and a move two months later, and I am just planning to be temporarily insane :)

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  4. I too suffered for the baby blues...mine was more extreme though(long story)..just so you know every single month that goes by gets better..you learn to not freak out over every little thing..and you learn how life is different than before but better...there will be many days when you don't feel like being a mom but if you know that those days will come and that they are normal feelings you won't beat yourself up and will be able to wait until the feelings pass and know that they don't define you....everyone has bad feelings it is what you do that really matters...and some of your biggest fears in the beginning end up being completly irrational...I thought "I am never going to get to read agian" cause I thought I would never get a moment where I didnt just want to sleep...well that is wrong...life is more free every day your baby gets more independent...there is a reason why they are only a baby for a little while...hang in there and send me a message if you ever need some enougragement :)

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  5. well said, friend! i think this is something that is far more common than most are willing to admit!

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  6. I know this is an old post, but I can totally relate. My son was born in May and I almost went through this exact same thing, almost week by week I would say. I had so much anxiety, cried when I nursed, cried for no apparent reason even if the baby wasn't around, just wasn't myself. The first few weeks were the hardest, the first few months were slightly less hard. I can finally say I've just now reached a point where I really feel like things are a little easier, but man, those first few weeks/months are so hard and no-one tells you about it. People would ask why I hadn't brought my baby to work to show him off when it was all I could do to get us both through the night, find time to bathe myself every few days or so, feed us both, I mean, I was in survival mode! Then I'd see people around me having babies who seemed to have it all together. It was probably my imagination, but basically at the end of all this, YES, I agree with you totally!

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