So I haven’t posted in awhile. I have written a couple of posts that never saw the light of day. After rereading them, I felt like they came off a little preachy. That didn’t sit with me well. This whole process of being a new mom has taught me I don’t know shit. Every baby is different. You might have a great latcher that wants to eat all the time or you might have a baby who isn’t and wants to sleep through feedings. They might cry all the time or be little angels. Then there is you. You might stress yourself out over every little cry or noise or you might not.
In the beginning, my son was a lump. A lump that just slept, ate and pooped. He was a well loved and cared for lump, but a lump nonetheless. At about two weeks, this little lump started smiling in his sleep, which was truly heart melting. And stress melting. This is hard. Caring for a helpless infant is one of hardest things I have ever done. I am lucky enough to get to stay home and care for him but man, it is hard work. Now at 11 weeks, we have a pretty good routine, it still involves a lot of eating and pooping but now he has started talking to me and he smiles all the time. We were lucky that this kid sleeps well at night. We had a couple of sleepless nights and man, does that fuck with your head. Sleep deprivation is awful. You are not a rational person. Like I said, we have been really lucky. Only a few bad nights, no colic and no trouble eating. I am so grateful for that.
I think the main thing we have figured out is that we have to figure Elliott out. He dictates our sleeping and my day. No two ways about it. Figuring out his patterns were so important. He gets fussy at night before bed. It was so frustrating at first. You have no idea what to do or if it is going to end. Will he be up all night? It was really stressful. Then it is easy to become frustrated with each other. Once we realized nothing was wrong with Elliott and that he would still sleep through the night, it got better. We knew we would have an hour or two where he was going to fuss regardless. So now he goes for a walk which calms him down and us as well. Also at night before bed, he sometimes does this weird cluster feeding sort of thing. It is ok when you know it is coming.
Readjusting expectations has been our main coping skill. You have to roll with the punches. We really were on the cloth diaper wagon. Of course we could do this. I am at home all day. A couple extra loads of laundry aren’t a big deal. We just didn’t factor in Elliott. We didn’t know that his poor little butt couldn’t handle cloth diapers, no matter how quickly we changed wet diapers. We saw the dramatic change in diaper rash when we sized up the cloth diapers. We had to wait for the next size and so used disposable diapers all week. No diaper rash at all. Three days back in the cloth and he had the worst diaper rash he has ever had. No amount of Desitin was helping. A week back in the disposables and it was like it had never been there. Even after a couple of days, you could see the difference.
Elliott is now getting close to the age where he can maybe start interacting with other kids. I am excited and terrified at this prospect. While I want to nurture his social skills, I also want to avoid know-it-all-my-kid-is-the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread moms. I know it is unavoidable but I dread it. This is hard enough without that bullshit. I truly believe the best advice is to do the best you can. Do whatever you need to get through it. That sounds bleak but really, these little babies are all individuals. The same things won’t work for all of them and who needs to be judged by some other mom because they know what is best for your baby. I am sure I’ll find some other moms who are like me. I have a couple of friends giving birth this month, so that will be nice. I do wonder if because it was so hard and complicated to bring Elliott into the world, if this has made me more accepting. If anything, it has opened my eyes and shown me that there are no guarantees and you have to be able to adapt.