Wednesday, June 25, 2008

That tricky and clever Mother Nature

Nature and biology are tricky, clever things. They make your memories fuzzy and not so immediate. So, you forget how it actually feels to take care of a newborn. Before Little Bit, I 'knew' intellectually that the first few months are hard and that you don't get much sleep. However, the reality was a slap in the face. My body was sore, my hormones were in turmoil, and the long-tunnel feeling that came from sleep deprivation made my PPD even harder. I remember the first morning that DH was supposed to go back to work after the birth. I was going to be alone for the first time with this crying baby, who depended on me for everything, and it scared me out of my mind. I cried and begged him not to leave. I just couldn't do it. Thankfully, DH was able to work from home some and only go in for half days for awhile. After Little Bit's stay in the hospital, my mom came and stayed for two weeks to help me.

Then, much earlier than I had planned, I returned to work. I had always thought that I would want to stay home with the baby as long as possible. I was very wrong. I liked being able to go to pee when I needed to, to eat a meal with both hands, to talk to others. Plus, I just couldn't deal with the crying. I had such a physical and emotional reaction to his crying. I was desperate to calm him and comfort him and make him stop crying. I felt like a failure if I couldn't.

It really wasn't until Little Bit was a little older, about 3 months old, that I got a handle on the PPD. Also, by then, he was becoming more interactive. By the time he was almost a year old, I was able to take FMLA time off work to be home with him and to really enjoy it. I love playing with him and seeing him discover things. I'm one one of those people who prefer babies after the newborn stage.

So, why am I writing about this now? To remind myself. Because, like I said, nature is clever. It's been long enough that even though I said, no, never, not gonna do this again, there is a part of me looking at the pictures on other moms' blogs of newborns and feeling a longing. Thankfully, many of these moms are also posting truthfully about the reality of having a newborn and a toddler. That helps bring me back to reality.

Logically, I think it would be too hard for us to deal with two children at once. We both like having the freedom to give each other a break, while the other one is 'on duty'. I imagine that would be hard to do with two. This last weekend, I was very sick with a sinus infection and feeling quite nauseous. I tried to imagine feeling morning sickness for weeks/months and having a toddler pestering me to get up off the couch and play with him. Not fun. I also slept so poorly (waking every hour or so) that by early the next morning, I felt that long-tunnel feeling which reminded me how I felt in Little Bit's first months with so little sleep. Reality. It was so hard the first time. How could I do it a second time?

So, why do newborn pictures fill me with sadness (that Little Bit is not that little anymore) and longing?


shuttle mom said...

That "longing" is something some of us never get over. I have 2 beautiful grandchildren and another due in September. I still have that ovary twinge.
If one is all you feel you need, then so be it. No guilt. And it's NOT selfish either.

Avonlea said...

Yeah, little babies are just so darn cute! *sigh* I just need to go help babysit someone's newborn baby. That will either quell the longing or strengthen it.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Featured on Good Mom/Bad Mom on the Houston Chronicle:

Kaza said...

Hi! I'm visiting from BS Sunday. I can SO relate to this. In fact, I could have written this! (Which was almost spooky, as this is my blog template as well, though I've tweaked it a bit now.)

Avonlea said...

Hi, Kaza! Thanks for stopping by.

That longing can be so strong sometimes, can't it?

Marinka said...

I think the pictures fill us with longing because they don't wake us up screaming in the middle of the night?

Hang in there.