If you are reading this, it means that you’ve just had another baby a few days ago. I know, I’m just as surprised as you are. Apparently you have reconciled yourself with the idea of not paying off your own student loans until you reach retirement age. Somehow, though, that new baby smell that’s just as impossible to artificially duplicate as breastmilk makes it worth it.
You likely feel right now like you’ve made a ridiculous decision to bring another baby into the fold. You’re lying in bed and listening to the tiny newborn in the other room scream its head off. The idea of your mom or your mother-in-law traveling back to their homes and leaving you with the baby all day by yourself is terrifying. You know you have done this before with Miss C, but the lessons you learned from her first days just don’t seem to apply now. This new baby is louder, angrier, scarier. You want to return it to the hospital; they give refunds, right? It scares you and makes you want to cry again for even having these thoughts.
B is tending to the baby right now because you just can’t handle that seemingly endless wail. The fact that he doesn’t feel so spiteful about the screeching baby is just making you feel worse. He’s a better mom than you and you are angry at him for it.
Here’s the thing, though: B didn’t just push a kid out; therefore, his hormone levels aren’t wackadoo right now. He didn’t host the kid in his uterus for the past ten months and then push it out, thus suffering a severe hormonal fluctuation in the space of only a couple days. He hasn’t been staying up all night long feeding the tiny little guy or gal for the past week. Sure, he’s sleep-deprived, but not nearly as much as you.
So let him be the mommy for a few minutes.
You can get through this. You will get through this, even if you don’t try.
Don’t compare yourself to other people. You and your new baby are on your very own time table. You are going to come to adore every aspect of this new person in due time. You are allowed to cry, and doing so does not make you an unfit parent. Go ahead, have an ugly cry. Get it out of your system.
Don’t compare the new baby to Miss C. C was C, and this new one is his or her own little person. If s/he’s crying all the time, don’t take it personally. Know that you are already doing every single thing you can to give that baby what s/he needs. Whether s/he knows it or not – whether you know it or not – you already love her more profoundly than you can possibly imagine.
Everyone is telling you to treasure this time because it goes by fast. Honestly, you want to punch the wall every time you hear this. You just want to fast-forward to the “good stuff”: when she smiles, coos, sits up and behaves like a human. But I’m just going to join the clammer and tell you to treasure this time, too. It really is precious. I promise.
That is, in hindsight.
In only a few weeks, little guy or gal is going to start literally lighting up. Hear that? In only a few weeks! And you will sleep again. It may not be for awhile, but you will. I promise.
You can do this.
No, really. YOU CAN.