Okay folks. I am so excited to announce that I think we’ve come to the other side! The side where having a baby is more fun than work (okay, that might not be entirely true, but at least the work is getting to be a little more fun) and there are more rewards and less meltdowns. Yes, he still screams constantly in the car, and yes, I’m still a prisoner in my own home, but he smiles now and he coos and he baby talks to me, and yesterday he fell asleep with his arms around my neck, snuggled up to my chest, and it was the sweetest thing ever. I have always loved this little guy, no matter how much I complained, but now I’m really starting to like him too. Does that make sense?
It’s like he’s finally what I envisioned a baby to be. We finally know each other. I can tell what his cries mean, and most of the time I know how to make him stop (even if it’s not possible to stop the car that instant and take him out). I absolutely love when he wakes up in the morning and I free him from his baby straitjacket (aka- the Miracle Blanket). He immediately throws both his hands up in the air, stretches and proceeds to fart for a good minute or two. Then he gets a huge grin on his face and starts talking to me in a series of oohs, ahhs, whoas and I swear the last two mornings it’s sounded like he’s said, “mommommomom”!
He’s doing fun baby things now like staring at himself in the mirror, smiling and interacting with people and just two days ago he rolled over from his belly to his back. It’s a tad sad that he’s not a small newborn anymore. I packed away more clothes yesterday and had to just stop and stare in awe at the tiny things he once fit. I allowed myself to miss it for a moment and then I snapped out of it. Give me a 12 week old in 6 to 9 month clothes any day over a newborn that thinks day is night and won’t allow you to sleep for more than 1 1/2 hours at a time. No sir. It is going to be a while before I am ready for that again.
And it turns out you bitches really were right! Breastfeeding is… dare I say… almost enjoyable now! Actually, around the 8 week mark things started to get significantly less painful and I think somewhere around 10 weeks I stopped cringing every time he latched on. I am very happy I stuck with it, even if just for the mere convenience of being able to feed the little monster almost immediately upon his first sign of hunger instead of having to deal with bottles and formula. And at least I feel like my boobs were destroyed for a reason. Plus, breastfeeding gives me the perfect opportunity to groom my little man like a monkey. I spend the time picking stuff out of his ears, off his head (usually crumbs left over from eating while he is in my Moby wrap), and the crusties out of his eyes. I even go for the occasional booger or two. I am so one of those moms that will lick her finger and clean her kids face off now. The thought of that used to disgust me. Kendall seems to love breastfeeding too. Many times he will go from his hunger cry straight into an all out giddiness at the mere sight of my boob. I know he’s done when he starts to stretch his arms over his head and then beat me with his fists. It’s like he’s making sure he got everything there was. I’m sure this will become less cute as he gains strength, but for now it cracks me up.
Those first 6 weeks seemed like a slow spiral into hell at times, but we’ve been steadily digging ourselves out since then, and though I’m sure we have plenty more to overcome and we certainly still have our moments, at least we’ve come to somewhat of an understanding of each other. So to all you new/expecting moms, take solace in knowing that it really, truly DOES get better…just like everyone says it does. And I know that as the mother of a two week old perhaps the most UN-comforting thing to hear is, “Hang in there! It gets so much better. Just give it a few months!” Because for you, a few DAYS seems like an eternity and a few months is completely unfathomable. Just know that it’s okay to complain and feel like the whole new baby/motherhood thing can completely suck sometimes…that it’s not always a joyous/bonding/awe inspiring journey. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, because I’m convinced it’s all part of the process. You can’t fully appreciate and enjoy the good things in life unless you’ve experienced the bad, and I believe motherhood is no exception. Just take things one day at a time, give yourself a break, and hopefully sometime in the not too far future your baby will reward you with a loveable coo and a cute smile like this one.
Please ignore my “not unpacked yet, yes, that is folded laundry that has not been put away on my couch” house. (And that’s a pretty good view of the Easter egg colored kitchen).
12 weeks 6 days old