We made it to the one year mark with our daughter, Madeline! Yay! It feels like a true accomplishment. The first year is tough. Becoming a mother is the most amazing, incredible, fulfilling honor of my life. But, again, it’s tough.
I had no idea how easy I had it before becoming a mom. Want to grab some sushi on Friday night? Sure! Want to try the new hot spot for brunch on Sunday? Yes, please! Up for happy hour on a random Wednesday? Absolutely!
And then… Bam! You’re pregnant. Bye-bye sushi (well, all the good stuff, at least)! In just a matter of nine quick months (although, while going through it, it feels like forever!), this beautiful, precious, helpless, incredible baby is born, and immediately, you fall so deeply in love with this little person that it actually hurts.
At least, that was my experience.
I didn’t have a clue what I was doing at first. Sure, certain things instinctively kick in right away. But you really have to figure out a lot as you go. And to make things even more difficult, you’re exhausted, it hurts to sit, your hormones are on hyper-overdrive, and your brain seems to have left the building.
After having Madeline, I thought childbirth was the hardest thing I’d ever experienced. But in the first month or two, especially at night, there were times when she would cry and cry, and nothing I could do would help. Now That became the hardest thing I’d ever experienced.
I can handle pain. I can handle exhaustion. But, I can’t handle my baby, whom I love more than life itself, crying uncontrollably. Was she was in pain? Was she starving? Was she was suffering in some way? It was just hard! I felt helpless.
But we made it through. It all worked itself out, and we figured out little tricks that worked for us. For instance, when she would have a crying fit like that, I’d take her into our bathroom, and sit in the dark with the blowdryer on full blast. The air was pointing away from us and on cool so it wouldn’t heat up the room too much. But it worked like a charm! It soothed her, and she would stop crying and relax, often falling asleep.
That was what worked for us. For some babies, a car ride does the trick. For others, being swaddled calms them down immediately. You just figure out what works for you and your baby, and then you do it until it doesn’t work anymore.
The first two months are, I think, the toughest time. It’s a major adjustment. You’re getting to know each other. You’re trying to find your groove. You’re dealing with everyone giving you advice on what you should do with your baby.
But one day, it just all clicks. You start to learn the difference between a hungry cry and a tired cry. You (hopefully) develop the confidence to tell people, even those you love very much, to back the hell off… Or at least learn to just smile, nod politely, and ignore. If you’re breastfeeding, it gets so much easier (I promise!). And you just start to get it.
It’s still hard. It still feels like every time you master one stage a new one starts. But you figure it out because you and your baby have become a team and you trust and love each other.
Again, just my experience.
Then, next thing you know, you’re tiny, little, sweet baby is walking, kind of talking, and having her first birthday! Where did the time go?