People say that weeks 1 through 6 are the hardest. That’s why they call it the fourth trimester, when two people whose worlds were just “we, our, us” gets hit by this tiny, wriggling, crying, bawling asteroid that’s depending solely upon them for its survival. When you’re up 2 a.m., 4 a.m., 6 a.m., etc. to the sound of a hungry newborn for weeks, it feels like you’ve just bought yourself a never-ending jarring wake up call: “WAAH WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD NOOBS WAAAAH.”
Browsing on Reddit and ScaryMommy.com made it clear to me that post-partum depression is a very real thing. There was a reason why Kapiolani Center and my baby’s pediatrician kept doublechecking if I had a “support” system. And I did. I was thankful that I had such a core support group with church, friends and family. They came over every day for a month after birth. They cleaned the house. They brought meals — lunch and dinner. They let me sleep while baby was asleep. What a blessing!
Yet, even with all that help, I definitely felt it. Not PPD. A slightly neurotic cocktail of mild baby blues and a touch of PPA: post-partum anxiety. Mahalo to the hormones all going crazy with having a baby and breastfeeding. I started crying when it didn’t make ANY sense to cry. I started worrying, and thinking anxious thoughts like: “I’m such a bad mom, and I never deserved to have you. Who would trust such a precious baby like you to me? I wouldn’t. I can’t do anything to help you, to understand what’s wrong when you cry, whether you’re choking on something, whether you’re gassy, whether you’re hungry. Did I eat something wrong? Did I set you down in the crib too fast? Am I not talking enough to you?”
Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 12:9: “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
That’s when I read and prayed. I remembered that God gave me this baby and He knew what He was doing, and as long as I’m doing my best…power is perfected in weakness. (Believe me. My weakspot has always been kids/spitups/tantrums/diapers/baby/ew.)
Suddenly, I started noticing all the precious moments. Like when the corners of her lips curve up, after she’s full and happy. How she seems so at home when she falls asleep nursing. When she looks at me with those deep, dark and beautiful eyes, so big and wise even at 3 weeks in. They’re her daddy’s eyes. When she give me the middle finger more times than I can count. LOL. How cute she looks when we give her a sponge bath. The baby smell! Ah!
We’re four months in now, and this new lifestyle of “three of us” is starting to make sense, starting to shift into place. It’s good and feels right, and when the next curveball comes around (4 month sleep regression?? Teething?? FEVERS?), we’re going to be OK.
And I’m going to be reading this post telling myself that I already told myself that we’re going to be OK! There!