The first weeks

I said in my last post that I would update as nap times allowed. And I have. In short, my newborn hates to sleep. He’s typically awake for a good 7 to 8 hour stretch daily (between 7 pm and 3 am, unfortunately) and it’s really killing me. I feel a strange smouldering rage towards whoever it was that made it common knowledge that newborns sleep an average of 16 to 20 hours a day, because to that, I say: Pa-hah!

It’s rare that I have the use of both hands, which is why my posting and writing back to people is severely limited. Even now, Theo has one of my arms trapped under his huge head, but with a strategically placed Kindle, I’m able to update.

There’s another reason I wasn’t so eager to write, and that is, plain and simple, because I’m having a hard time. A really hard time. It started with the crazy blood loss and consequent weakness, then rolled into ravaged nipples which made nursing a nightmare, then a breast infection, followed by low supply and a consequently hungry, screaming baby. Things are more ”normal” now, though Theo is really quite fussy, especially late at night when it’s hardest to handle.

The truth is, that none of this is how I ever pictured it. I find myself jealous of Andreas, who gets to play his video games and live a lot of his life like he did before. I find myself doing one of four things at any given moment: feeding the baby, trapped under a sleeping baby, trying desperately to sleep while the baby sleeps, or taking a really fast shower and praying that the baby doesn’t wake up while I’m in there.

There are good moments, of course, and I love our little Theo, but this is harder than I ever imagined. It’s hard not to get run down and depressed. It’s hard to not freak out when I realize that Andreas is going back to work next week. I’m not so much worried about being alone during the day, but of having to spend the dark hours between 11pm and 3 am alone. I’m having trouble seeing through the newborn fog to a time when things are better.

This is all incredibly hard to admit to, and if it wasn’t half past midnight, I probably wouldn’t have the courage to post it, but I want to remember this for myself, to look back on and remind myself that it did get better (hopefully) but also to share with someone else who maybe isn’t having the easiest time in these fast few weeks when we’re supposed to be falling madly in love with our precious babies, but we’re instead just longing for a bit of rest and an escape from the guilt of not feeling like everything is perfect and life is now complete.

I can’t do the whole picture thing on the Kindle, so instead of cute pictures (I know, I know, that’s why you’re here in the first place. I’ll get around to it soon.) I’ll end on a positive note. When I lay in bed in the early morning, after laying Theo down between Andreas and me after he eats, I just stare at the two of them, thinking, in those few seconds before I black out into that deep, sleep-deprived sleep, how lucky I am to have them both, and how Theo has his eyes.

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2 thoughts on “The first weeks

  1. This is an amazing post. I get so tired of reading posts from new mothers about how wonderful and perfect everything is and I know that can’t possibly be true. Babies are hard work and you are very brave and honest to share how it has truly been for you. It will get better. I say this with no experience of my own, but with my faith in the universe never giving us more than what we can handle. Keep writing. I look forward to your posts. And cute pictures never hurt! 🙂

  2. Everyone feels like this, believe me, every new mother. It’s is tough in the beginning, you are not alone in having emotions like this. And not sleeping or having only interrupted sleep is really bad for your mental state. As Andreas is going back to work, it’s time to ask for help, someone needs to support you in this, even if it is just 20 minutes during the day so you can shower in peace. Hang in there, it does get better!

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