Sunday, May 30, 2010
6. Emotions of first Few Weeks
My ideal reader is a preggo. However, I don't want to scare you with what I am about to share. I will preempt it with this: having a baby is totally worth the craziness that comes with it. The sleep deprivation doesn't last (well, it doesn't have to if you play your cards right). And knowing that to expect is a huge help.
The first two weeks of Mommydom are insane. You are overjoyed at having this baby (and NOT BEING PREGNANT ANYMORE). Yes, you are pumped about being a mom and you love your little bundle oogles. However, you also have no idea what you are really doing (or at least I didn't!). And even after you have more kids, it is still insane what those first few weeks are like.
You are tired.
Baby eats about every 2-3 hours and the process of feeding him takes 30 minutes to an hour itself. So you have very little downtime in between feedings.
My advice(and the advice of others, too)? Sleep whenever you can. Even if that means you sack out on the couch while Daddy watches a movie. Protect your sleep! You will feel so much better if you take every opportunity possible to snag some zzz's. You'll have plenty of time to catch up on your shows when baby is sleeping through the night. That's what TIVO is for :)
You are edgy.
Even if normally you are the sweetest, most patient person on the planet, chances are that during this first couple of weeks your fuse might be a little short. (and Daddy's, too). Again, it is from exhaustion. If you snap at your spouse or your mother, don't beat yourself up. Give them a quick "sorry, I am really tired and didn't mean that" and move on.
You are overwhelmed.
Your whole life just changed (for the better:). That is a lot to process. And baby has to get used to this new life, too. Feeding, diapering, cuddling, cooking, cleaning, SHOWERING, and a whole lot more still has to be done to some degree. If you feel like you can barely keep your head above water...congratulations. YOU ARE NORMAL. Anyone who has a baby 1-2 weeks old and doesn't admit to being a little frazzled is LYING. They are probably just embarrassed to admit it. Don't be. This is a positive change, but a change nonetheless. We all go through this and feel the same level of anxiousness (especially with your first baby). Relax, enjoy your baby, and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel :)
You are HAPPY.
OMG!!!!! You have the cutest little baby in the world. Who doesn't just want to kiss those cheeks and stare at those little fingers all day long? You are tired, and grouchy, and stressed BUT YOU HAVE A BABY. Doesn't that make this temporary phase a little better? Just a little? Celebrate the fact that you are now a card carrying parent. Soon enough you'll be showing pictures to your girlfriend's while you are out having dinner. You'll get there!
So okay the first couple weeks kind of suck a little when it comes to getting sleep and figuring this whole baby thing out. But by week 4 things will settle down a lot (especially if you follow the Project Mom tips). If you feel like your head is going to explode, just vent. We've all been there. Trust me.