Pregnancy is a funny thing – you realize how little actually know about it until you’re pregnant.
No one talks about the emotional let down and the hormonal changes that take place once you’re not pregnant. Postpartum Depression is JUST becoming a topic of discussion, which is wonderful, but what I didn’t realize is that you still have some emotional letdown even if you aren’t suffering from PPD. Your body is finally letting go of all the hormones it’s held for the last 10 months. Think of it like the worst PMS you’ve ever had, but multiply that by 100 and then add in a crying baby, no alone time, being totally house bound and lack of sleep. Now if you’ve never had kids or been through this, take what you’re thinking of and multiply that by 100.
I hit this place yesterday. Hey look at me – crying, and holding a beautiful, perfect baby! Fortunately, when I started crying I realized I hit this place and wanted to capture just how raw it is. I couldn’t stop crying either. The tears just poured. I realized why, too…
I hadn’t had a single moment of alone time in 15 days. I’m a person that needs alone time. I’d been harboring much guilt for wanting just a few minute to myself. Like it makes me a bad mom or something. ( I know it doesn’t, but sometimes that crazy first time mom brain takes over.)
I’m home bound until Brooke’s immune system is ready for the real world since I am exclusively breastfeeding. Considering it’s cold and flu season, we are home bound for pretty much a month to 6 weeks with the exception of a doctor’s appointment and the like. Most of our visitors have had to cancel because they aren’t feeling up to par so it’s left me a little…lonely. Don’t get me wrong, Kevin’s great, but I’ve just needed a change of pace. I’m nervous about next week since he goes back to work.
I was EXHAUSTED. Brooke hadn’t slept well for previous three nights. As in, she didn’t sleep. I was running off of no sleep and it had finally caught up to me. I’ve been having a really hard time sleeping during the day.
So, while I sat there crying on the chaise, snuggling my sweet girl, Kevin heard me and suggested I go get us lunch and he’d watch Brooke. FREEDOM. I jumped at the chance. It’d be a quick 20-30 minute adventure in Mrs. Chang where I could just drive and have those few minutes of alone time.
As I blasted some old school hip hop and drove to Chick Fil A like a total badass I decided that come up with a game plan to make me feel more in control.
A walk. Break the “recovery timeline” rule and take a short walk for my own damn sanity and hopefully energy level. So, after lunch we walked part of the neighborhood as a family, including the dog! We did a little under a mile. Nothing too crazy or fast. My FitBit gave me 18 active minutes though! I felt AMAZING just walking. I’m actually glad it was pouring rain all day today otherwise I absolutely would have overdone it because I woke up ready to take another walk today, despite being sore from yesterday. Damn you, C-Section, damn you.
I came home and did another little Post Pregnancy After Comparison to boost my self image! Lookin pretty svelte 15 days later – now down 22lbs.
Lastly, I recalled a book that my Sleep Doc/SIDS expert gave me at work to read and pulled that out: The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep.
I read the first 100’ish pages (birth-3 months) and had a plan!
I fed Brooke every 1.5 hours yesterday and woke her if sleeping to eat.
I learned that the white noise we had been playing was way too high pitched. We’d been playing loud rain and what she needed was a low rumbling sound, so I found a more suitable white noise (car engine) to play when we went to bed. (The rain is more like an ambulance sound for babies and the car engine is similar to the womb.)
I worked with her through out the day on how to take a paci and keep it in her mouth.
I’d already been swaddling her, so I had that one down!
Now armed with new knowledge I was hoping for a much better night of sleep. The previous two nights she wouldn’t sleep unless on my chest, and I am a firm believer that we NOT bed share, so sleep was out of the question for me.
I finished her last feeding at about 9 and immediately went up to bed with her. I started a new nighttime routine of dimming the lights, greasing her up with some Aveeno Calming lotion, a new diaper, a TIGHT swaddle, and turned on the low rumbling car engine. I laid her down in her Bassinest, helped her get settled with her paci and then went into our bathroom to get ready for bed myself. Well, holy shit, not 3 minutes later and she was OUT COLD.
I climbed into bed and quickly fell asleep seriously thinking I’d be up in 20 minutes. Well, I had to wake her at midnight to eat. She “dream fed” for about 30 minutes in the quasi sleep state. I changed her, tightly re-swaddled and re-paci’d her, white noise still a going. She was out cold again in a matter of moments.
She woke up on her own at 400am and she ate for close to an hour and took about 30 minutes to resettle, but by god – she went back down at 530am and slept until 930am!
SAY WHAT? This mama got 8 hours of sleep! I am like a new woman today! It was an awesome feeling waking up and knowing you were able to meet all of your child’s needs the previous night. I finally felt like an awesome mama.
So, she’s been eating every 1.5 hours today and this mama hasn’t shed a single tear! I’ll let you know if last night was fluke or not.
Highs and lows! It’s great that you’ve managed to start a routine – I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it keeps going so well. I don’t have children yet, but had a couple of sleepless nights with my asthma and it felt like my whole world was falling apart. Nothing is a good as enough hours of shut eye! Well done – you are an awesome mom 🙂
One thing to remember is that you HAVE to take a few minutes of solo time. Take the lunch breaks, take the time to go get a pedicure in a few weeks. So glad you were able to get some sleep. It’s amazing how much more we can cope with when we’ve had some zzz’s
I wish I knew how to send this to myself when I’m ready for babies. It would be great to not forget about this