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. :)