I read a post the other day where the mom described her baby laying on her chest as two puzzle pieces fitting together. That’s how I feel when P is sick and she rubs her snot and slobber all over my shirt and then falls asleep drooling on me. She’s sick again with a stomach bug which means we have been in cleaning mode to keep up with her. My husband is also sick so it’s bedtime at 7:30 PM for all of us tonight. I’m sure she will be up at 10 ready to play and eat and I’ll be wishing I had just stayed awake. I came home from work to take her to her appointment because my husband was feeling terrible. I was working at the table in the kitchen with her on my lap (wouldn’t stop crying if I wasn’t holding her) and she fell asleep sitting there, head on my chest with me typing away.
Someone so small and delicate has come into our lives and completely changed every aspect of it. Our mornings and evenings revolve around her sleeping, eating, and getting her dressed and all of us out the door. She heads to school, we head to work and at the end of the day, we pick her up, change her, feed her, play with her and eat dinner some time in between. It was a very rough start at the beginning. People tell you it will be difficult but you don’t truly know it until you experience it. However, like all good things, after the storm the sun comes out. The hugs and the smiles seem like they will never come in the early days but they do and when they do, it’s like the rest never happened.
When we were still in the hospital, I cried and cried because I didn’t know what to do. She was crying and hungry but I wasn’t producing yet and I was sure we were starving her. When we got her home, it didn’t really get better. She was allergic to milk protein but we had no idea so the first month was torture. We slept in shifts to take care of her; I was constantly pumping, trying to nurse, crying, or trying to soothe her. The postpartum hit me like a ton of bricks one day when I sat on the bathroom floor and cried to my husband that I just couldn’t do it.
If you have been in this place, you know that it is dark, lonely and feels hopeless. One thing you need to do is look forward. Look towards what is coming. The crawling, giggling, reaching for you, the first words and crawl. Look forward to the amazing things that will happen and not the difficulties you are experiencing and don’t bottle them up. You have to share them with your partner, family member, friend or counselor. You aren’t a failure. You aren’t hopeless. The baby doesn’t hate you. Your spouse doesn’t hate you and no one is going to judge you for having such a common issue.
P is still throwing up (it’s taken me days to write these paragraphs so this is three days later) after she eats but not as often. My husband is almost back to 100% and this morning I actually made a smoothie for breakfast (more on that in a later post). I was frustrated with some work items early on in the day but it quickly turned around. I saw my dad when I picked up P, my husband cooked dinner and I fed P some carrots and apples I made (also in a later post), and when she started throwing up we both leapt into action. I worked on calming her down, my husband carried her to the bathroom, I wiped down the table where she threw up, Daddy stripped her down and got her in her bath tub, mommy cleaned her bumbo then dried her off and got her dressed. It was only about 20 minutes but earlier on in her life, it would have been a disaster. We’ve come together so much more as parents.
The coffee is ready to start brewing at 6 AM, our lunches are made for tomorrow, dishwasher full and running, baby sleeping and we are lying in bed and it’s only 9 PM. I couldn’t have imagined a weeknight where we didn’t watch television and sit and eat then lay around until later than we should have. Now I’m happy that we didn’t get a chance to watch television. P was upset and exhausted so Daddy spent his time playing and soothing her while I ate and then we put her to bed. I love this crazy life. I love that she reached back and forth between her grandpa and me today just being a silly girl. I love that my husband reacts so quickly to help her when she starts vomiting. I love that she will smile even after throwing up and being so sick because she’s a happy baby. I love everything about this life and I wouldn’t change it.