Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Midweek Confessions: On Being a Mom for the First Week

This is THE perfect Wednesday for me to join in with Midweek Confessions again.  I mean, it, perfect.  For I have lots to confess, what with being a mom for a grand total of less than two weeks.  Those of you more experienced moms who might stumble upon this, well, advice given with good intention is welcome, I think.

- I just let my 11 day old son sit in his car seat on the kitchen counter and scream for minutes before going and picking him up.  I'd put him in there because I don't have a sling or any other place to put him on our main floor yet and I needed to fix myself something to eat.  I left him there because he started to fall asleep, and we're struggling with sleeping anywhere but in someone's arms.  Rather than take him to his crib, which would totally disturb him and the screaming would begin, I left him there.  It worked for about 5 minutes.  Then the whimper.  "Maybe he'll self-soothe.  We need to not pick him up at the first sign of a cry," I thought.  Then the slightly more persistent cry.  "No, he still might go back to sleep.  Just wait.  Get the computer out, I want to blog."  The soft wail.  "I'm ignoring you - I think you might still make it, although probably not."  Finally, the scream.  "Well, maybe he'll get tired of that and go back to sleep."  Ummm.  Nope.  Pick him up - and the crying instantly stops.  He must have tired himself out, though, because I have him sitting in the boppy on the couch next to me, and he's sleeping there.

- He looks adorable, sleeping there.  I almost forget he's been screaming.  Almost.

- I may have let him sleep in the boppy in the bed last night with us.  All night.  Yup, I might have.  See, we have a pack and play in our room that has this nice little newborn bassinet attachment.  Up until two nights ago, this was working out great.  We would get up, eat, walk or rock for a minute, and go back to sleep.  He went from waking up once between feedings to sleeping from one to the next.  He went from needing a 10 minute rock and walk to a 3 or 4 minute one, and sometimes less.  Sunday night, though, it started to change.  He slept great between feedings, but he took a long time to fall alseep again.  Monday night, the same thing, but worse.  Lay him down, a whimper, a cry, a wail, a scream.  I took to sleeping with my head at the end of the bed so I could try rubbing his belly and shushing without picking him up.  Failure.  Last night, Husband had him asleep in his arms for an hour so I could get some rest, and the moment he put him down, straight to the scream.  I tried for another hour. And then I quit.  I put the boppy in the middle of the bed, and slept with my arm under him as if I were still holding him.  And we stayed that way the rest of the night.  I didn't even bother trying again.

- I put him in the bouncer outside the shower this morning so I could take one.  It gave him hiccups and he couldn't get rid of them the entire time he was in there.

- I've cried nearly every day at least a little.  Sometimes out of tiredness (that was big at the beginning of the experience), sometimes out of frustration (not usually at him, but at others), sometimes out of sadness when he's crying so hard, sometimes from being overwhelmed as I look at his sweet face and feel the heaviness and joy of responsibility for his life.

- Poor little baby has gas a lot and I can't figure out if it's something I'm eating or if it's a phase he's going through.  I hate to use the word "colic," because I think we jump there too fast with babies.  But he definitely has gas and it definitely bothers him.  And I want to make it all better and haven't the foggiest how, but am working on it.

- On a more positive note, I just want to kiss his sweet little cheeks all the time.  I love it when he looks up at me with his big currently-dark blue eyes and his mouth forms a perfect little "o," as he takes it all in.  I love snuggling and rocking and cuddling with him, and could stare at him for hours.  I climbed in the backseat the other day while Husband ran into the store for something and just put my head on his carseat, watching him sleep.  I'm in awe of how powerful his tiny little grip is and how forcefully his little legs can kick.  I want him to be healthy and happy and safe, and I've never felt more strongly about making that happen for anyone than I do for him.  I've said all along, I'm not a mushy person, and I mean it, but this little man, the Peanut, is about as close as I can get.   But it's not just mushy love and adoration of him.  There's a fierceness I feel, a protectiveness. 

Welcome to motherhood, you might say.  A plethora of emotions, roles, and experiences.


  1. Yes! Welcome to motherhood,Congratulations, he's beautiful. Everyone and his brother will give you the end, you need to do what works for you. Gripe water worked really well for all four of our very gassy babies!

  2. I'm sending you an email. We all have to learn how to do this mothering thing. The most frustrating part is not being able to tell what is bothering them. Hugs to you.

  3. Loved this! Beth there are no real rules. I have four and they are all very different. And if you want to pick him up when he cries - go ahead. Remember he is used to being close to you every minute. That's what he knows. Enjoy every minute. You'll figure it out and I'm sure you are going to be a great mom!!

  4. start a food diary sweetie... :)

  5. Yes...the first few weeks are a struggle. The baby is just as inexperienced as the parents. You are doing great. Follow your instincts. YOU and JOHN know the baby best and will make great decisions.

  6. Welcome to mommy world. Love your honesty! Found you through E's confessions. It gets better and easier more quickly than you think!

  7. these are great! I am past the baby stage but you never forget it!! congrats on your son. he is a cutie!

  8. Those first few weeks of motherhood are the hardest to navigate. Hang in there, girlie. Sleep, hormones, and routines eventually smooth out. :)

  9. I have no advice, none, nada. I'm sure though that in a year tor so you will be the one giving me the advice because you will be so wise to this mothering business. I love you!

  10. He's beautiful! Congratulations! It's hard. Especially those first few weeks. But, they don't last forever :) In a few months you'll be missing him while he sleeps through the night. I know it sounds crazy now!

  11. You should talk to my mom. She has said that i was SUPER colic-y, and cried a LOT. At times, they had neighbors come over and ask if everything was OK, because of oh-my-lord-the-crying. I really don't remember it at all, but my mom does, and sometimes reminds me of that...mostly when she is upset with me about something...Love you - hang in there. :)

  12. My first bit of advice is this: get rid of ALL of the infant sleep books. Seriously. They give you a false perspective on how babies are supposed to sleep. All babies are different. Some do sleep through the night early on, some (like my sweet, sometimes stubborn Jacob) do not. They wake up a lot. Even if you do everything the book says. So...go now...chunk them out of the window!

    Second is this: Gripe Water for gas. It's a miracle worker. It's holistic, safe, and effective. It's black, and will make his poop black, but it works way better than gas medicine. Sometimes dairy can cause gas. Maybe start a food diary and slowly cut out foods one at a time and see what it might be.

    Third, if the crying is coupled with back arching, take him to the Dr and get a diagnosis. I'm serious. Acid reflux is no joke and it will save you months and months of agony.

    Last, you are an awesome mom! Cuddle, hold, rock, sleep with, and just love on that baby as much as you can! There is absolutely nothing wrong with rocking your baby all night long (or snuggling with him in bed). Those have been my most powerful praying nights. I spent many, many, many nights crying out to God for help, praying for our family, and thanking him for my wonderful gift. Somehow, God gives us an incredible strength to get through it all!


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