Baby boy is growing so fast. Literally right before our eyes. I swear this week he outgrew his newborn sleep sack over night.
He smiles all the time now!! And he coos and grunts and “chats” with us. He holds his head up really well and will stare at a toy or the mobile in his crib. He is content on his own (if he has been changed and fed!) for about 10-15 minutes.
He is still gaining weight very quickly and now weighs 12 pounds!! Many of our breastfeeding issues have been resolved, and nursing is going quite well. My supply seems to have leveled off to more of what he needs, and he eats far more contently than he did a few weeks ago. It was so hard at first, and I wanted to give up, but I’m so glad we pushed through.
We are learning so much more about him — his likes and dislikes, glimpses of his personality. He is also learning to communicate with us. He seems overwhelmed by the world most days, and needs to take it all in slowly.
Sleep is better. We made a breakthrough last week and he will now nap in his swing!! I have loved holding him and wearing him in a sling, but boy is it nice to be able to eat lunch or go to the bathroom. He also gives us 6-7 hour stretches most nights. We had one glorious weekend a week ago where he went down easily for naps (I even had to wake him up to keep him from sleeping too long!), and didn’t fight sleep at bedtime. I thought we were turning a corner to the wonderful everyone seems to talk about when describing life with a newborn, but it was short-lived, and we had a fussy, restless baby again come Monday.
I’m ashamed to say I’ve lost my patience a couple times. I’m embarrassed to say this has all been much much harder than I ever imagined. I don’t know if I am just more brutally honest than other moms or if there is something wrong with me, but when people say “I can’t imagine life without my baby!” or “I couldn’t love him/her more!” I call bullshit. I can imagine my life without him. It was only two months ago! And it was good! It was a good life!
Could I love him more? Yes. I think I could. I already love him more than I did a month ago. I do! It’s true. I also love Steven more than I did a year ago. Can we stop acting like motherhood is either love at first sight or nothing at all? Maybe it is love at first sight for some, but for others it is more like a developing relationship. It’s a spark at first, the start of something new, something you know will be good, but it takes time, just like falling in love. For me, this has all been a journey. A journey in forgiving and trusting myself, as well as a journey in getting to know and learning to love my son.
My husband is the most mellow, most laid-back human I’ve ever known. He’s not rattled by much, rarely gets upset….or shows any emotion really! His mother raves about how easy he was as a baby. I thought our little guy might have his demeanor. I truly thought I would have one of the easy ones (don’t we all?!). Turns out Camden seems to be a bit more like me — needs a lot of help being comforted/calmed down and a lot of help falling asleep. When he wails and kicks, I try to tell myself that he will grow up to be passionate. When the world all seems too much for him — the lights too bright, the voices too loud, the people too unfamiliar, I try to tell myself he will grow up to be sensitive, gentle and empathetic. I know these things can be taught, but I also know temperament in babies is an expression of personality. Babies are people, you know, and people are different.
I’ve learned two motherhood lessons in these two months:
- Nothing lasts forever
Accepting that I don’t have the most agreeable or easy-going baby. Accepting that he doesn’t like his carseat and actually won’t sleep in the car. Accepting that I rarely am able to work out, and accepting that I still don’t fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes.
Accepting that, just as I demand a lot from the world, Camden demands a lot from me. Accepting that he needs a lot of comforting when he is upset, and accepting that he needs to cuddle most of the day. LOL at “sleep training.” Every time I have tried to set him down “drowsy but awake” at night to teach him to fall asleep on his own, it backfires big time, and he gets angry. It then takes twice as long to get him down because he has gone from drowsy to pissed. Maybe someday he’ll go to sleep easier, but for now he needs to be held and rocked and cuddled for a looooong time, and that’s just the way it is.
When you’re in the thick of it — a meltdown, a sleepless night — it feels like it will never end. But nothing lasts forever. The minutes do tick by, the hours pass and the days do end. The sun goes down and when it comes back up you and your baby are one day older. I tell myself this when he won’t seem to stop crying…… he literally can not cry forever, even if it may seem like that’s exactly what he is trying to do. If I didn’t fall asleep until midnight, and have been up since 3:30 a.m., all I have to do is just make it through the next 24 hours. Or until 5 p.m. when Steven gets home. If it’s Wednesday, all I have to do is make it two more days until the weekend when we can tag team.
Everything is a phase — one day he chokes and cries and won’t seem to breastfeed, the next he nurses peacefully right to sleep. One day he fits perfectly into the tiny onesie I got at my baby shower, the next he’s wearing three month old clothes.
It’s a constant pull between wanting and needing the bad times to pass, and trying to cherish the good times as they slip through your fingers like water. The worst part is that you don’t know it. You don’t know that he will only have that wrinkly forehead for a couple weeks or that he will practically double his birth weight by the time he’s two months. You don’t know how long he will fit in his clothes or how long he will curl up on your chest. You also don’t know how long he will fight sleep like it’s his job or for how long he’ll hate to leave the house. You don’t know how long you’ll doubt yourself with every Google search and everyone else’s opinions.
Nothing lasts forever. Not the good times and not the bad times. The forever you thought wouldn’t come to an end is actually just a second in the span of this child’s life.
We love you baby Camden. You’re my biggest life lesson in slowing down, in trusting myself and in learning to love the tiny person you are.