…To thriving

…To thriving July 16, 2013

Hello everyone! I am shouting out from Baby Land here, and since my Pia has a special baby honing beacon on whatever I’m doing, I’m almost positive she’ll wake up early one paragraph into this post!

I was thinking and praying about what to write about first over the past few days – first impressions and all that! – but really and truly all I kept coming back to is how much change has happened in my new little family such a short amount of time. I am amazed at how much happens in the first few months of a new baby’s life, since it feels like every week there is a new shift and a new “routine” for us. Pia is doing well, smiling, rolling over, cooing, and stretching out her sleeping patterns… and my dear hubby and I have been out on dates (!), are getting a little more sleep, have figured out how to do many things one handed, and I even put on makeup most days (it’s the little things). Praise the Lord and pass the peas! We have moved slowly from the just-surviving camp to the thriving camp.

Even though it’s only been four and a half months, however, there were several weeks in the beginning there that were soooo touch and go that I honestly couldn’t even imagine that it was going to be this way at this point. I couldn’t even picture it. We had a hard labor, a ton of nursing issues, and not a lot of local support, and instead of feeling simply really happy (which is what I desperately wanted to feel!), it just seemed insanely hard. Since Pia is our first, I had no institutional knowledge to tell my sleep deprived self that it was going to get (a ton) better, or that I wasn’t going to be thinking all crazy forever. Other mom’s seemed to come out of the fog eventually(or never even have the fog?!), but me? This seemed permanent! For all I knew a few months ago, I was just going to live in my pajamas for the rest of my life (comfy, but not ideal). And those were very real feelings! Having your first wee one is a steep learning curve! A wonderfully blessed one, but man, let’s be honest, steeeeep.

So…this is just a short note to any of you out there who are newbie mamas and may be struggling ever so slightly. You are doing well. You are doing your best. Keep it up. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Keep our Lady before you. You are priceless to your sweet bundle, and they wouldn’t trade you for anything. You will figure out the laundry schedule. You will be able to eat a meal without speed eating. You ARE going to see the sun again. You WILL get out of the house again. You will be able to find time again, and you WILL settle into a routine…not the old one, but a new and improved 2.0 version. Breathe. Ask for help. PRAY. And then you’ll wake up one day, not too far into the future, and you’ll be in your new normal…and thriving.


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  • Jennifer

    My postpartum experience with my first was pretty similar to what you are describing here, J. After a pretty exhausting several weeks – I truly think that I didn’t sleep for the first month & a half – one day it seemed that we were all just doing well. Suddenly my husband and I felt that we were getting the hang of things, and our boy started sleeping more through the night. I look forward to reading more of your posts – lovely first impression. And to thriving, indeed!

  • Bethany

    Beautiful words, J. What you say is so applicable to many phases of parenting that feel like they’re never going to end and make us feel desperate. And then, before you know it, a week or two (or more) has passed and all of a sudden, you’re in a good place again.

    GG is always encouraging me to write things down. Write when we’re in a good phase so that I can look back and see that just two weeks ago I was praising a current troublemaker for really good behavior. OR on the flip–to document a hard phase so that I can see how far we’ve come just weeks later! I’m convinced parenting is one big changing of phases all the time. Nothing is ever the same–it definitely keeps things interesting, but demands a LOT of flexibility from the parents!!

  • Juris Mater

    J, this has really touched me. You’re right. There are all these incremental steps toward thriving that I really need to stop and be thankful for, rather than just feeling desperate that I always feel like I’m hopping around on hot, shifting sand. We only made it to actually thriving on a plateau one time in our marriage–we didn’t have anyone under 18 months old, the postpartum depression-y hormones had cleared my system, my husband and I could spend the night away from home for our fifth anniversary, my lower back didn’t ache much of the time. Those kinds of things. But every step post-baby in the direction of wellness and thriving is a landmark. Bethany, I like what you say about writing it down. I’m so quick to jump to defeatist mode and forget that, just two weeks ago (before we had a move, a job change, and a tonsillectomy all in the same week), I was feeling pretty OK about things : )

  • You can never be a second time mom the first time around. And that first time around is HARD STUFF. The transition from 0 to 1 is so tough. Congrats for surviving it, and writing such encouraging words to those who are there right now. Welcome aboard!

  • Kat0427

    Beautifully written, J! Reading this post brings me back to all of my post-partum days 🙂 Many blessings to you and sweet Pia as you navigate these days together!

  • MaryAlice

    With every child, there was a moment in the first few weeks when I thought, oh my, I had a pretty nice life before and now I have RUINED IT! Even with experience, it is hard to remember that the sleep deprivation will gradually go away and your body will start to feel normal again. In my case, things are much easier by 6 months and then again whenever I stop nursing. I’m so glad that things are looking up! You have some real wisdom in that you have to find joy in the NEW ROUTINES rather than trying to cram yourself back into the old ones.

  • Juris Mater

    Speaking of survival mode, this is HILARIOUS:


  • buildingcathedralstexasmommy

    I think I feel the same way after each baby! When our youngest was a few months old I sent a builder email asking how long it would be like this! You are right, they are very real feelings and we need each other for support!

  • Kathy

    Great first post. I can relate to your feelings even though my oldest will be 13 in August! It does get easier and I agree with Kellie that the learning curve from 0 to 1 is TOUGH. The transition from 1 to 2 kids and so on had their challenges but not like the first time. How nice it would be if we could all be “2nd time parents” with the first child. It is helpful to know that other moms feel like this even after all of these years – nice to know I am not alone or a bad mom. Thanks and welcome.

  • Frances Walters

    Hi J! So glad to be reading posts from you! I am glad you are over the first big hump! I remember having such adrenaline in the first month, but then in month 2 completely crashing and realizing how sleep-deprived I was, with M having colic, etc etc. I would call my husband at work nearly daily sobbing and asking when he’d be home from work! And that was after a rough pregnancy where I did the same while on bedrest. But how sweet it is once you hit a stride. I was just reading this blog post this morning: http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2013/07/the-sweet-spot.html. It reminded me yet again how quickly our kids grow (One already! how?) and to enjoy the ups and downs. Very in tune with your post, if from the other end of the childhood spectrum.

    I have found the Wonder Weeks app to be encouraging to me too. It provides a chart of your baby’s developmental leaps and therefore the tougher, fussier periods in our lives. I don’t really view it as something that tells me what is happening with M, but it helps me to see that there is an end in sight to these tantrums, the clinginess (that I love and hate at the same time!), the shorter naps, etc etc. And it really has been fairly accurate in timing M’s moody periods.

    Love and hugs to you, new mom! Looking forward to hearing more from you on your journey.