I had written back in another blog that I was going to try to write a blog each week about something that I hadn't thought of or expected before the baby got here. However, I was delinquent last week as my little one was wanting some extra attention. But now, I am getting around to the next topic!
The hormonal and emotional experiences after the baby arrives are hard to describe and something that hadn't crossed my mind much. Yes, I'd heard of postpartum depression, the "baby blues," etc. and I was prepared to deal with that if possible. However, even without those things, there are other hormonal and emotional experiences that do not happen until the baby arrives.
1.) Bonded by Crying?
The first night after Gordon Lee arrived up through the first week, his crying actually had a physical impact on me. I had NO idea this would happen and it was actually quite an incredible experience. Every time he cried at night, I literally felt as though there was a cord connected from me to him and it pulled at me when he cried. I actually could not just listen to him cry because my body physically would not let me do it! It is the strangest feeling, and even the description I'm giving isn't enough. However, it was truly remarkable and unexpected to feel a "pull" when he cried. This did go away. But I suppose we are made this way for a reason!
2.) My Baby is the Only One
One night, when Gordon Lee was about 2 weeks old, he was not in the mood to sleep. We didn't know what was wrong at the time, but he was just crying continuously and seemed impossible to soothe. I was rocking him in an attempt to get him to sleep and I looked at him and said, "I bet you Jericho is sleeping right now." I do not know why I felt that way, but I had this idea in my head that things were quiet and peaceful next door while chaos ruled my house. When my neighbors asked me how he was sleeping, I actually shared that story with them only to discover that Jericho wasn't sleeping either! He was up every 2 hours every single night, apparently. At this, I realized that our house was usually calmer during the night because Gordon Lee slept 4 hour stretches at a time at night!
Something made me think that everybody else out there with a baby was having it so easy. You see pictures of quiet, adorable little babies and then think something is wrong with yours! Granted, nobody really wants to share a picture of their upset child. But it's weird how these thoughts that yours is the only one seem to take control. The more I have shared the challenges we've faced with him with others, the more I've found out he's not "the only one." As I write, he is beginning to pitch a fit because he just filled up his pants. ;) I'll have to come back to this blog later.
3.) Not Me
Another thing I discover based on sharing my experiences with others is that, for some reason, it is very common to feel like you can't take care of your baby. There have been so many times where I've felt I'm just "not fit" to take care of Gordon Lee. Even if this is far from the truth, it appears to be a very common feeling. My mom shared with me that she was afraid to give my sister a bath when she was born. I'm not sure if it's the feeling that you think you should be able to know everything that will help the baby because you are his/her mother. Or maybe it's just one of those emotional things that is a part of having a baby. But, it seems that many people experience these feelings like you just can't do it sometimes. I think I expected him to calm down with me because he knew I was his mother (even if that is ridiculous). But all babies will have periods when they just cry and it seems like nothing you do can make them stop.
So, if there are new moms out there who feel like I did, you are not alone. It's likely that the person posting pictures of an adorable, contented baby is also feeling caught in a tornado of tears from time to time themselves.