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The Transition

The Heart of Life: The Transition

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Transition

So, how is parenthood going?  Oh, pretty good.  It’s a huge transition, but I figured it would be, so no surprises there.  Ching Tiger really is a pretty mellow baby, so we lucked out.  My mom tells me I had awful colic as a baby, so I was half expecting Ching Tiger to be equally bad as some form of karma.  For the first month or so changing his diaper was a holy terror—he’d scream and scream—but other than that it wasn’t too bad keeping him content.  I don’t know why he hated diaper changes so much.  It might have had something to do with his circumcision, but he hated diaper changes even before that, so I don’t know.  I’m just glad he’s moved past that phase.

He’s become pretty good at eating, although at his 2 month appointment he only weighed 9 lb 13 oz, which puts him in the 3rd percentile for weight.  I about died.  I promise I feed him as much as he wants every three hours during the day and anytime he wakes up at night, he doesn’t spit up very often, he has a healthy number of dirty diapers, he is a happy, mellow baby, and starving babies don’t smile.  We’ve been trying to pack on the pounds, but I have a feeling he’ll always be a skinny boy.

Sleeping at night has been going pretty well.  The first month he liked sleeping during the day more than at night, but I think that’s pretty standard.  When he was a month old I started doing a Babywise based schedule, and it has worked great for us.  He is happier when he’s awake and sleeps pretty well at night.  And I like having some predictability in our lives. 

I read a lot about what the first couple of weeks would be like and was fairly prepared.  I had plenty of diapers, wipes, and jumbo pads.  I also splurged on some nice toilet paper (which was well worth it).  I knew I’d be sore and sleep-deprived, and I knew he’d cry a lot.  However, there was one part that kind of took me by surprise—baby blues.  I learned about baby blues in my infancy class in college, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.  I know it happens pretty frequently, but in all that I read nobody talked about it.  So here I am.  Talking about it.  I hesitated to share because it’s kind of personal, but somebody should talk about it.  Might as well be me.

The first night home after being released from the hospital was rough.  That’s when it sunk in that I’m responsible for this little person.  This was horrifying at first.  What if something happens to him?  What if he dies?  I remember holding him that night and telling him over and over, “I love you, baby,” and all the while crying because I never ever wanted him to die.  That’s the funny thing about adding to your family—the more you have, the more you have to lose.  It’s only a temporary loss, of course, but it’s still kind of terrifying.  I spent the night on the floor next to his crib, fighting back sleep so I could keep a vigil over his breathing.  Fortunately I worked past the hyper vigilance after a few days.  I had to remind myself that God is in charge of both my life and my baby’s life.  We’ll be fine as long as I do my best.  And surely God doesn’t expect my best to include never sleeping. 

Four days after Ching Tiger was born I started noticing that sometimes I felt super sad for no reason.  It was really weird.  Things would be totally normal, then all of the sudden I’d be struggling to not cry.  A few days later was my first day flying solo while my husband was at work.  The day actually went really well, but later that night something snapped and I could not stop crying.  There was nothing wrong, but I couldn’t stop.  After a while I pulled myself together enough to go to Smith’s—I figured getting out of the house would help—but the second I pulled back into our garage the waterworks started up again.  It was ridiculous.  I asked my mom to come back for a few more days, and having someone around to keep me company helped a ton. 

Fortunately I was pretty much back to normal by the two week mark.  I know it was nothing compared to what ladies with post-partum depression deal with, but it was approximately zero fun.  It felt so great to feel sane again, even though I was still crazy tired and sleep-deprived for another couple of weeks.  I’m guessing baby blues often get shrugged off as just sleep deprivation.  It’s not, though.

So there you go.  That’s my experience with baby blues.  Too much information?  Maybe.  Oh well.  It needs to be talked about.


At November 24, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Blogger Georgia said...

I'm so glad you are willing to talk about this, Lindsey. Baby Blues are a real thing! I still remember that overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and then the worry and sorrow that engulfed me. When my Mom left after Kevin was born, I called Rob on the phone at work and I was sobbing so hard, I scared him. He kept saying, "What happened?! What happened!?" I was finally able to get out the words, "Mom left."

Luckily, after the next three baby births, I expected to feel that way and so it wasn't so shocking and worrisome. However, that foreboding and worry of losing the baby doesn't lessen. I was still sitting next to the crib in the middle of the night with Camille and praying fervently that she wouldn't die. I was so engulfed with the feeling she wouldn't live long, that I would sit up with her many nights for the first six or seven months of her life.

Being aware of these inexplicable apprehensions is truly helpful, so it is good that you've shared these insights with the blogging world. Thanks!

At November 24, 2013 at 8:57 PM , Blogger Celia Turner said...

It's an interesting subject... the baby-blues. I can't say that I've actually experienced that myself, but I can totally relate to the new-mom anxiety! I had that BIG TIME, and still have moments of it occasionally. Becoming a mom made me an instant worrier, and even more of a scaredy-cat than usual. Driving down an icy road before was a bit nerve-wracking, but then add your child in the back seat of the car, and it becomes SO unbelievably frightening! Just the thought of hurting that precious baby is unfathomable! I believe that every mom must go through this to some degree or another. I also remember very well listening so intently to my babies as they slept in a cradle right next to my bed. It was crazy, but I needed to hear them breathing! I'm glad that you let me come back to be with you that first week of you being home from the hospital. I certainly didn't want to wear-out my welcome, but was so happy that you invited me to come back and stay a few more days. I also really enjoyed seeing your sweet hubby taking on the new role as a father so whole-heartedly! He's a keeper, for sure!!!


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