Guest blog: Rebecca from “Friffle Thoughts”

A Baby! Wait. What?

This is for all the new moms and moms-to-be: welcome to the club! I got tired of hearing “it depends” to every question I asked about pregnancy, but it is true. And, it’s even more true when the anticipated bundle arrives: every story, every baby, every up and down is different for every parent. This is my story, and perspective to pass along to anyone interested – and a kudos to Sara for being a step ahead of the game asking for advice, ideas, and help from current moms long before the big day!

After waiting a week past our due date and then having a traumatic birthing experience, we were just thrilled to have our little girl, Little E, at home. For about five minutes. Sure, we had heard that parenting was the most difficult job we would ever do, and yep, we had heard that it would be particularly hard initially. Still, we were convinced we wanted multiple children and were excited to have started our family.  Little did we know how many times that opinion would change in the upcoming months.

Turns out, our “little” girl (weighing in a 9 lbs., 9 oz.) had not read all the parenting books we had consumed in the past nine months. Nor did she care that my breastfeeding skills had been honed by a plastic, non-wiggling doll of a mere 3 pounds at best.  In fact, on one uninspired feeding, she flicked me off. Most importantly, as we would later attest, she did not care what schedule we thought she was going to be on. She was, and is, fiercely independent.

Okay, clearly this one isn’t breastfeeding, but she didn’t hesitate to share her opinion whatever she was eating.

My body was going through the down-shift of having a child and attempting to breastfeed. Lack of sleep, scattered meals, frayed nerves, and bouncing hormones led to breakdowns on a regular every-other-day cycle. The baby blues are real and ugly. I tried to sing Little E to sleep but the only song that popped in my head was “I Have Confidence” (which was a lie) from The Sound of Music, and I couldn’t get through it without crying. My husband was trying to get through graduate school, working, comforting a hormonal spouse, and learning to change poopy diapers. Our house had become a war-zone of burp cloths and pacifiers. It was littered with empty bottles, notes from the pediatrician, and take-out boxes. And I could see no end in sight.

Friends would come with their slightly older babies and smile knowingly. “We just have to get through the first 4-6 weeks, right,” I asked hopefully. Perhaps they knew my fragile state couldn’t handle reality so they responded with a diplomatic “Something like that, but everyone’s different.”  At 8-weeks I was crying on the phone to my mother, “Why isn’t it getting any better? I thought I had reached the tipping point! What is going on?” I got a bit closer to the truth when my mom responded “I don’t know any other way to say this except that the first three months can be horrible (okay, she used another h-word, but let’s keep it G for the kiddos people).”

There. I had it. Three months. I started reading more and it seemed true – somewhere between three and four months it would get a lot better. It was enough time for Little E to be comfortable in her new post-utero environment and for us to become familiar with our new reality.

Sure enough, we got through it, and now I even miss parts of it. Our secret? We never once assumed we would be in this alone – in fact, we were eager for assistance, advice, and friends. A friend who had joined the Mommy Club a month or so before I had, sent me a FB message with an encouraging note: her timing was perfect and gave me the energy I needed to get through the day. Friends brought meals and news from the outside world. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles took turns changing diapers, feeding bottles, cleaning the bathroom, making meals, and holding the newest family addition.

Even better, right about the time Little E’s muscle memory started kicking in and fun things started happening, her parents’ brain muscle memory started forgetting the trauma of the first three months. All we remembered were the positives and the amazing – her smiling, sleeping (a lot of sleeping in retrospect), putting on a show for whoever stopped by, her falling asleep with me on the couch, so many new outfits, and happy, happy family.  Nine months later, I can almost sing “Besides what you see, I have con-fi-dence…in….MEEEEEE” without choking up.

If you need a refresher, here’s the song sans video – better yet, rent a copy and watch a classic!

All that to say, take any help you can get if you are about to have a little one, or be as available as you can to help in any way if you know someone about to have a little one (but send a text or email – don’t call and interrupt precious sleep time!).

Congrats Z and Sara – welcome to the world Keelin – you’re gonna love it!

ABOUT THE BLOGGER!


Hi, I’m Rebecca, Z’s cousin, so that makes Sara and I… cousins-in-law? I joined the Mommy Club {oh, it’s real} in March 2011 and have loved whipping out my playing skills for a new audience ever since {yes, I do voices}. I took a break from a career in international education to be a stay-at-home-mom and have found writing to be a great outlet for adult conversation. When I gets a few free minutes of “Rebecca time” I like to…wait for it…write. And also, read, walk, travel {ok, that’s usually with baby in tow, but it counts}, volunteer at our church, and take pictures. When the hubby and I get a babysitter we enjoy biking, going to the movies, trying out new experiences, visiting local attractions, and eating dinner using both hands.

You can follow my tweets @RRVincent or have a semi adult conversation on any number of random topics at my blog Friffle Thoughts.

Until next time…

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