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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Honesty on Motherhood

Drew's first two weeks of life were the hardest of mine. Can I say that?
I want to be real. I have read so many blogs about motherhood and not one that I have read described what I experienced. Of course, everyone has different experiences and everyone says the first few weeks are hard. Hard was one way to describe it. I went into my first day of motherhood blissfully unaware of what was to come when I left the hospital.
Our first night home Drew cried and cried and cried. It is an awful feeling to listen to all of that crying and have no way to help! I battled awful thoughts in my head those first two weeks. I'll never sleep again. I'll never please this baby. I'll never snuggle Andy again unless someone comes over to watch the baby. I'll never have Friday night date night again! I'll never feel normal again.
These thoughts were all so unrealistic, I know! The good news is, those things were not true.
The bad news is, babies do not come with a manual. They don't come with words either, just cries.
 I was convinced, absolutely convinced I had a colicky baby. For a while there I did. For those of you out there with colicky babies or with fear of what to do if you have one, call me. I will be your coach. I will rock your baby for you and I will remind you that it will not last forever!
I tried hard to breast feed but after two weeks of Drew's life we discovered that I wasn't making enough milk. Like, not even an ounce enough! Drew was starving, hence the endless crying. By her third week of life Drew was on milk based formula, but we soon discovered she was allergic to milk protein. More crying. Acid reflux, more crying. We finally found the trick though. Hypoallergenic formula and Zantac and Drew is a happier baby.
My first few weeks of motherhood were filled with tears. I literally think I cried every day. I was so overwhelmed and I felt helpless. I want to remember the hard parts because I know I will have to reminisce with Drew one day when she has her own baby. I can tell her, "I wanted to jump out a window your first week of life, hang in there!!" My advice to friends or anyone having a baby is to take all of the help you can get. If your mother in law offers to come rock the baby at 4am, let her.  Seriously. So many pregnancy magazines I read said to trust your instincts and ignore the extra voices. To some extent that may be true, but for me, I needed every bit of advice and opinions thrown at me. My mom's, grandma's, and friends all had something valuable to tell me every time I had a question about Drew.
I want to thank you ladies. What would I do without you? Drew thanks you too.
The day we took these pictures, I debated all morning calling Jessica and telling her to forget it. Drew had cried all morning. When Jessica got there with her camera, Drew was crying. I tried what I could to calm her down, but nothing seemed to work. We tried giving her a bottle, but that only lasted a minute. Jessica offered that we go outside. Andy ended up taking Drew from me and walking through the yard with her. She calmed down fast. I think those first few weeks of her life, she felt my tension. That's what all the nurses and mothers told me. I hated that but I didn't feel like I could control it.
Jessica did the most amazing job. She caught Drew's tears as well as the peaceful moments in between. I am so thankful for these pictures and I will never forget the day they were taken. Proof that out of the chaotic moments comes something really wonderful.
I am happy to report that Drew is sleeping, smiling, eating, pooping, and being a happy baby in general!! It took her a few weeks, but she is there! She still cries, and I know that's normal. I love her more than anything and I absolutely love my days with her. I wouldn't trade them for anything. I feel like I've been given the greatest blessing of anyone ever. I hear that's what all mothers say.
Motherhood is so wonderful and crazy that some days I go to bed wondering if I fed Betsy. Poor Betsy. Hopefully she will love Drew. As for now, she just licks her forehead every now and then and sniffs her diaper.

(Look, I am blogging! Two times in one week! Does this qualify me as a mommy blogger??)

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