That’s right – I didn’t love the infant stage, I might venture into saying I didn’t like it either.
Please do NOT get me wrong – do not take this post as meaning I do not love my child, because my God I love her more than any words could ever explain, so I won’t attempt to portray my love her in this post, if you know me, you know she is my pride and joy, she is my absolute everything.
However, that doesn’t take from the fact that as an infant she was a little more than ‘difficult’. By saying she was difficult in no way reflects that she was a ‘bad baby’ – how does a baby even be bad? They’re just trying to figure out the world they’ve just been thrown into and we are trying to figure out what to do with this tiny being, how to look after her, how to care for her, how to feed her, how to bath her, etc.
My pregnancy was easy, sure I had some nausea, no real throwing up, to sum it up I loved being pregnant. During those pregnant months I would day dream about how it would be once Gradie had joined us, I dreamt of my 12 weeks off for maternity leave. What we’d do, my parents would be here for a few of those weeks, oh the things we’d do………..
YEAH RIGHT!! Gradie was colicky, she had reflux for at least the first 9 months of her life, she didn’t sleep through the night, she nursed on demand and often ‘on demand’ would feel constant, I was her human pacifier. We had no choice, she wouldn’t take a bottle, and she wouldn’t take a pacifier. After hours, literally hours, of crying we’d do anything to help ease her pain/frustration/confusion and anything to afford us a little bit of peace and quiet.
I remember a day, while I was on maternity leave (Jeanna had returned to work), where Gradie cried NON-STOP from 7am until 445pm when I finally called the doctor AND they got me in to be seen that day. Thank God my mother was with me, I honestly don’t know how I’d have survived some of those days without my parents here to help and afford us a minute of quiet.
Now consider this continuing for roughly nine months, sure the colic probably decreased by around five months but the reflux didn’t. Then consider trying a few different medications for your child until you find one that ‘works’ or your mind tells you it makes a difference and for nine months you have to give an infant a syringe full of meds by mouth, they can barely drink milk, now we’re trying to get this lovely strawberry flavored concoction down her throat – let’s not think back to the # of times we had to get it out of her hair and clothes.
So YES – I was NOT a fan of the infant stage, I likely will NOT say I wish she was a tiny baby again, I will most definitely say I wish she was a fun, rambunctious, healthy, and extremely stubborn toddler again – I LOVE these days, even when she drives me close to drinking (before 7am), but I will not long for those first few months again.
We can only hope that baby #2 (when and if we are blessed with a brother/sister for Gradie) will be an ‘easier’ baby – but if he/she isn’t, we are testament to the fact that mom’s (and I am sure dad’s) can survive those extremely hard and challenging days, and nights!! The moments when you firmly believe you will lose your mind, something will click, something will make you able to survive another 10, 15, or 45 minutes until they finally fall asleep. When that sleep only lasts 10 or 15 minutes you will be ready to go again, until the next time they fall asleep.
Days (and nights) will be HARD, you’ll be the more tired than you’ve ever been, you’ll be plain miserable at times, but you’ll find the strength from within that gets you through it. You’ll be living testament to the statement of ‘When it’s your baby’ – when it’s your baby you learn how to cope, when it’s your baby you learn how to survive, when it’s your baby you get as much rest as you can, when it’s your baby you tag team with your significant other, when it’s your baby you learn to fall back on your support system, be that just a shoulder to cry on or a body on the other side of the computer to read your email about just how tired you are, how you have no idea how you’re going to survive and a simple reply of, ‘You got this’, ‘You can do it’ – yes when it is YOUR baby you learn how to manage!!
At the end of it all – or possibly 2 years (maybe more, maybe less) down the road you’ll realize that it is OK to say, “Hey! Those were not my favorite days of motherhood!” You’ll realize that this doesn’t make you a bad person and most definitely NOT a bad mother. You’ll realize that those feelings make you a person, a real live human being, who loves their child unconditionally then, now and forever more, you just don’t want to relive those days, like ever!!
For a really long time I felt like a was a terrible mother because I had these feelings – but I know better now, I just wasn’t a fan of this stage but I love the heck out of her being a toddler!!
I encourage you stay tuned for my post in roughly 11 years when I talk about my relationship with the teenage years…………… 😉