Sitting on the other side of month one, I’m convinced it was designed for one thing: survival.
A few things that I didn’t expect:
- How incredibly unconfident I was the first week of his little life and how easy it could have been to fall into postpartum depression. I GET IT NOW – I completely understand why and how people fall into that, it is incredibly easy to feel inadequate and for those feelings to absolutely consume you. There are so many natural things happening to your body that just feel completely unnatural (i.e. breastfeeding and healing from pushing an 8lb baby out of tight quarters…)
- My marriage was the first thing to suffer. You always hear about it but it is something serious when you’re going through it. Sleep deprivation takes everything from you and then you have a little human that is completely dependent on you and he takes the rest of what you have. I am not my best self on a few hours of sleep and Justin was the one getting the brunt of that. We have had to learn how to communicate and connect in much different ways than we used to and I am continuously reminding myself – my marriage is and will always be #1. Figuring out what that looks like and how to keep it in the number 1 spot – well, you’ll find us here, continuing to figure that out.
- How important it is to get out of the house. Even just for 2 hours at a time. It filled me up and allowed Justin and I to have some sweet time together just walking around the lake in Downtown Orlando and Oliver loved being outside, too! Win-win-win.
- This is the craziest one for me — when Oliver was born, I definitely knew he was my baby. I was overwhelmed with love but what I didn’t realize is that I would literally have to get to know him. I didn’t know the baby I was holding – it by no means was an instantaneous connection. And maybe it’s different for other moms, but for me I really had to work toward figuring him out – what his different cries meant, how he liked to be held. I remember being asked like the second week if he was ticklish – I had NO idea – I hadn’t made it that far yet! I learn something new about him every single day and it wasn’t until I embraced the fact that I didn’t know everything about him and that that was OK that I really enjoyed everything about being a mom.
Justin and I just keep telling ourselves, ‘we will never get this moment back’ – the moment at 2am when he is fed, changed, burped and is STILL screaming his head off. That moment. It’ll never be again, he’ll never be that small, that dependent. Those hard times are still really hard. Being up at 2am with a crying baby is HARD. Functioning on a few hours of sleep? HARD! But, to have a little that is so dependent on you. To know that one day, they’ll no longer need you to bounce them for 2 hours straight until they fall asleep — ooo, I’m soaking it up for now. I have had to have lots and lots and lots of grace for myself and for Justin as we just begin to start figuring out and doing this whole being parents thing.
It’s been crazy fun to watch him grow, giggle in his sleep, and start to smile while awake now! He is eating great and toward the end of the month started to sleep better. This big boy was 11 lbs at his one month appointment – 90th percentile!
I am so very grateful to God for my sweet little Oliver and this crazy first month of just figuring him out.