Monday, January 4, 2016
5-month Postpartum Truths
Wow, I haven't written a post like this since I was 6-weeks postpartum! I guess I haven't had time. I also haven't had the head-space to organize my thoughts. I have so many postpartum thoughts these days and this post hardly brushes the surface. Shew-whee, where to begin...
5 months ago I gave birth. I have since forgotten the pain, but there is still trauma. I have to admit though, I am more traumatized by being pregnant than giving birth. The birth came and went in 30 meager hours, done. Pregnancy however, seemed like it lasted half of my life! Thank.goodness.that.is.over!! Despite not being pregnant anymore, I am still horrified by the experience. That just goes to show how sick and uncomfortable I was. I am not a fan of surrendering my body to nine months of uncontrollable reactions and growth.
On to somewhat more pleasant things. Hazel, is a doll. No literally she looks like a doll. It's a good thing she is cute, because she definitely tried our patience those first three months. It is one thing to have a new baby and adjust to a different way of life. It's another story altogether to have a baby with colic...or whatever it is that makes them so cranky all the time. Hazel cried nonstop for the first three months. I often found myself crying along with her because I didn't know what else to do. We were/are regulars at the pediatrician's office, everyone knows us by name now because we were there (no-kidding) every other day for the first month, then twice a week after that. Only at month-three did we finally start tapering the visits to every other week. Most of Hazel's problems had to do with "colic", low weight gain, and breastfeeding, but I'll write another post about that later.
With Andy out of town for work most weeks and Hazel's nonstop crying, I was worn pretty ragged those first few months. I survived on showers at 2am, 1-minute breaks sitting on the back porch with the sun in my face, long cries into my coffee, granola bars, and netflix. I tell you, single/solo parenting is HARD. I don't wish it on anyone. If you know a single mom, or one whose husband works long hours (or out of town), help a mama out! I don't mean ask if she wants help, just show up and help. (I'm not gonna lie, I could have used a lot more help...I was just too proud to ask for it.)
So now that we are past the I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing-and-my-baby-won't-stop-crying phase, things finally feel good. Hazel is a completely different baby than she was those first few months. She laughs and smiles and we like each other. We are starting to get into some sort of routine and my anxiety about getting out of the house is almost all gone. Life is still challenging and I am often frustrated with my loss of independence (especially when Andy is not around to give me a break), but all in all I feel better about being a mom. It is crazy how much a little human can change your life. I love my child, but I truly don't understand how people can do this over and over again with multiple children. Mad respect to them! One-and-done will be my story. :)
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YEP! I was also a solo parent for the first 1.5 years of my kid's life, my hubby traveled just about every other week and sometimes two weeks in a row. It is not easy, but having plans at least three times a week helped (I was teaching part-time for the first six months so I got a break three times a week during my classes). My summer disappeared with him gone, but the best thing is to just take your baby outside, let them explore and read a book nearby. My kid ate plenty of dirt, had a sitter twice a week for a few hours while I gardened/went to meetings/appointments, and I read through all the harry potters series outside. It is the hardest in the winter because you feel bad to take your baby outside, but trust me if you babywear and they are in a snowsuit, they are plenty warm and you can take walks, snowshoe, etc (I even removed snow from the driveway while babywearing). I had very little help besides one babysitter and no one offered to just come over and help me clean or bring me a warm meal. It does get easier as they get older (short nap times used to be when I could get all the work done, and now I get my kid to help me with work or she plays alone) so just remember it will pass quickly!ReplyDelete