I wrote this post about a month ago, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to publish it. At the time, I was ragged; emotionally raw. And SO TIRED. A month has passed, and now I feel comfortable sharing these feelings because I think it’s important to do so. In the weeks since I wrote this, the Blues have passed and I am so thankful for that. And while sleep still is challenging, we’re getting FOUR HOUR STRETCHES WOO HOO!!!! and that makes a world of difference. It’s amazing how much can change in a month!

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Owen is one month old today. One month! The past four weeks have alternately flown by and dragged at a snail’s pace. We’ve been initiated into Parenthood and while I wouldn’t give him up for all the stilettos in the world, I have to be perfectly honest and say this month has not been easy for me.

I read a lot about emotions postpartum because I had a sneaky suspicion I might be susceptible to Postpartum Depression. I’m a very sensitive and emotional person without crazy hormones, and I saw how pregnancy hormones affected my moods from day-to-day. So I made sure I was informed and able to notice the signs of depression if it decided to sneak up on me after birth.

I don’t have full-blown Postpartum Depression, but I certainly have a bit of the baby blues.

Owen came into this world screaming (as you will read about soon) and hasn’t stopped yet. In general, if he’s not eating or sleeping, he’s fussing. Not always, but most of the time. Strong-willed baby? Maybe. Colic? Perhaps.

Eat. Sleep. Poop.

CRY.

He was born on a Saturday and my family was with us until Wednesday. Which meant for five days he was basically held exclusively and slept pretty well. But then they left, and it was just us…new parents, new baby. My milk came in and my chest tripled in size, engulfing my child’s head (freaky!). They were so full and hard that it was difficult for him to eat. His latch wasn’t correct yet, so breastfeeding hurt. A LOT.

He cried. And cried, and cried, and cried.

He wouldn’t sleep in the bassinet, only on my chest in bed. I loved the feeling of his little body on me, but was terrified I’d smother him in my sleep.

One night during the first week, somewhere around 3 a.m., I walked into the bedroom, placed my wailing baby in Michael’s arms, walked into the nursery, and collapsed on the floor and sobbed.

I still get teary thinking about that moment, because it was a low for me. I felt so overwhelmed. I felt like I was failing at motherhood already. My child was hungry and I couldn’t give him enough food to make him stop crying. My child was tired, and I couldn’t make him fall asleep.

Week One was hard.

Slowly, very slowly, things started to get better. Together, we learned how to breastfeed. (I’m going to dedicate a whole post to it because I think it’s important to share.) The more he ate, the more milk I made and the happier we were as a lot. We started to figure each other out a little more. Though he’s still too young for a real routine, I began to understand when he was hungry, when he was wet, when he wanted attention.

Week Two wasn’t so bad.

The evening that ushered in Week Three changed everything. He wouldn’t sleep. He was up every 45 minutes crying, wanting to eat. I would stare at the clock each time he woke, bleary-eyed from both exhaustion and tears wondering what happened to the progress we had made.

I cried a lot that week. Not to the severity of the night in the nursery, but still. In his quiet moments, I would look at my son and my eyes would fill with tears of pure happiness, joy and wonderment. And then he would wake up screaming and the tears would change to frustration and confusion.

Week Three. Oh my, week three.

And now, now he’s four weeks old. After four nights of no sleep and lots of mutual tears during week three, he’s finally back to three or two and half hour stretches at night between feedings. We’ve got breastfeeding DOWN and it no longer hurts. He will sleep in the bassinet — for a while.

This is good. This is really good.

But I still get sad. And I still get emotional. And sometimes I have to put him in his father’s arms and walk aways for a minute when the crying gets too much, because it’s not his fault that gas is making his belly hurt or he’s over-tired. It’s not his fault that crying is his only means of communication and that I haven’t slept. (OK, maybe that last one is a little bit his fault.)

Most of the women I’ve talked to have been more than eager to share their pregnancy and birth stories, offer advice on nursing and show off pictures of their babies. Some, but not too many of them have looked into my eyes and said, “It was hard for me too.” It’s not something people like to talk about, but I think it’s important that we do.

It’s a huge adjustment, this mommy thing. Not sleeping, caring for another human, having them attached to your chest every two hours or so all day and night. I wanted to write this post to let those who are going through it now, have been there or will go through it eventually know that it’s OK. And it’s normal! And it will pass.

And it was hard for me too.

I love my baby, my son. I love him more intensely and differently than I’ve ever loved anyone before. And every day the Blues are getting better and less frequent, to the point where sometimes when he cries, I just laugh at the quivering bottom lip and kiss his wrinkly forehead before scooping him into my arms to settle his sadness.

I dry his tears and he dries mine.

One month of motherhood down, a wonderful lifetime to go.

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