Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sweet Little Angel


Abbey was letting Janey chew on her finger the other day and said, "Mom I think she might have teeth!" I brushed it off and said, "No, not yet."  And Abbey said, "Mom really something feels pretty sharp."  I looked and sure enough her little gum had broken and a tooth was poking through.  What a surprise!  For two days she hadn't taken a great nap and wanted to nurse more than normal, but I thought it was just a growth spurt, nothing as big as a new tooth.  

She is such an easy baby now, always smiling, almost never ever fussy, and if she is, all I have to do is pick her up and she is happy again.  But those first few months-oh, they were hard.  She was a very very fussy newborn, and add that to the nursing issues we had in the beginning, it wasn't easy at all.  I know of course, by experience, that "this too shall pass" but when I was in the thick of it, no matter with #4, or #5 or Janey, (all fussy newborns), it sure seemed like it will last forever.  

Each time I felt like every day I was pushed to the max-emotionally and physically exhausted.  Fussy babies take a lot of tender loving care from their mommies.  A lot of exercise ball bouncing, a lot of nursing (a whole bunch of nursing!), a lot of pacing and shushing and rocking.  Of course, Jeff would relieve me when he was home, but if my baby is crying, my brain rattles and my hormones make it impossible to not just take her and do it myself.  

One day magically, Janey turned from high maintenance to completely utterly enjoyable.  They all did.  The hard part is not knowing when that magic day will happen, but with each of these darling babies, it did.  The days that were once a blur slowly become days when I might just have more chances to come up for air and it sure feels good.  I think what I learned over the years is that it is completely OK to have time stop for awhile-for those hard months.  I tried so hard to give myself a giant break-and give Janey a big old chance to get used to this world while giving her as much love and care as she deserves.  

I feel sometimes like there is a message out in our society today to "get back to life" as quickly as possible after our babies are born.  Back to our old selves, back into shape, back to work, back to our old routines-just keep life going like a truly amazing miracle didn't just land into our lives.  To go on and appear as if nothing ever happened-this makes me mad that this is applauded and praised today-it's truly ridiculous, but very sad also.  It's an indication of a deep chasm in the most important bond of mother and baby.  

I think babies deserve to rock the world of those around them a little.  To stir things up, to make us rethink priorities, to bond-totally and completely giving ourselves to them when they need it most.  Even if that means little things like fat pants for awhile, or a makeup drawer that goes untouched for months, or big things like lots of "no's" to invitations and commitments, or everything that once seemed so important plummeting down that priority list and maybe even disappearing.  Of course we can rebuild slowly-on the baby's timeline-but things shouldn't look the same ever.  We all need to move over and make space for this precious new life we brought into the world.  Babies deserve it, and we moms do also.

42 comments:

  1. Thank you Sarah. I am in the thick of it right now with baby #4 and nursing is throwing me curveballs left and right and she is thoroughly unpredictable and I too keep reminding myself that one day soon this will all be a memory, so I shouldn't sweat it in the moment. But hearing it from you is much better than me talking to myself in a sleep-deprived haze!

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  2. Love this Sarah. My little #4 is now 13 months old, but I still feel this way. Geez it goes so fast. And being an older Mom this time around I think it's even going faster.

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  3. I read your blog but never comment but this post reminded me of my favorite quote on newborns. I had to share it with you even though it is a little long:

    "I believe that colic exists in order to change deeply ingrained relationship habits. Even after the miracle of a new birth, many parents and families would revert back to their previous schedules and activities within a few weeks - if the new baby would only remain quiet and peaceful. It would be easy to continue reading what you want to read, going where you like to go, doing what you like to do as before, if only the baby would happily comply. Instead, the baby's exasperating fussy period forces families to leave their previous ruts and develop new dynamics which include this new individual. Colic demands attention. As parents grope for solutions to their child's crying, they notice a new individual with new needs. They instinctively pay more attention, talk more to child, and hold the child more - all because of colic. Colic is a powerful rite of passage, a postnatal labor pain where new patterns of family life are born."
    - Dr. Alan Greene

    I hope you like it as much as I do. Thanks for blogging!

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  4. As usual, you say exactly what needs to be said. I love it!! Thank you!

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  5. And again you gave words to my thoughts, feelings and convictions.
    Thank you so much, Sarah!!
    Blessings,

    Jeanneke.

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  6. Love this!Thank you, Sarah. I am a few weeks away from having baby number 4 and this is just the perspective I need.

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  7. I love your blog and I love this post - I may only be in my 20s and have just one baby so far {17 months and the light of my life}, but I find myself nodding along with all that you say. I'm a stay at home mother and have very traditional values when it comes to family. Babies aren't here to 'fit in' with our lives, they are here to change it forever and I'm happy to dedicate my life to this gorgeous little guy.
    I love reading your posts everyday!

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  8. i have no regrets during those first few YEARS (not just months) with each of my babies. i nursed forever..snuggled forever..why rush that? even now, with my youngest turning four in a few months i am savoring our days together.

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  9. I too love this post.My youngest is 3 months old and alot of things have taken a back seat whilst i am trying to be the best mum i can be to him and his other siblings.I love just sitting nursing him and not rushing from post to pillar,I look at my 20year old and realise just how fast it all goes by.Thanks again for your awesome blog.

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  10. My precious baby girl is just coming out of the fussy stage. Like OU when I hear my baby crying I want to be the one to calm her. Newborns do change our life as they should. Beautiful post!

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  11. 100% spot on! Bravo Sarah for putting it down for all to see--bringing a life into the world changes everything. If it doesn't, something isn't right. Janey is soo cute!

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  12. This is so beautifully put, and so true! Thank you! And, I am so glad that Janey is moving beyond the fussyness — oh! I had a baby who was so fussy, so sad, it was so hard for him to adjust to life! Gosh, those were hard months: nursing, nursing, nursing, and carrying him in the sling all-the-time while I walked (and walked and walked) all over the city. I gor terrinly thin and I wondered if he would ever settle and then one day **snap** just like that he was past it all! (And now he's 23 and just the most terrific man. Bless).

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  13. She's previous ! And you're a wonderful mother to all your six :)

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  14. Beautiful post! And thanks for this, specifically:

    "Of course, Jeff would relieve me when he was home, but if my baby is crying, my brain rattles and my hormones make it impossible to not just take her and do it myself."

    ...because I have felt EXACTLY the same way with each of our two babies, but never really put it into words before. I thought I was just crazy or a control freak or something! :)

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  15. my baby number 2 pushed me to the edge of what I thought I could handle. She cried so much when it seemed to me her needs were met.
    I don't regret the hours I devoted to soothing her,she never had formula in her life(no judgement about formula, just saying I devoted to that for her). The only thing I feel bad about was time I put her in a chair in the bathroom to cry it out, but I know that wasn't long. I'm the same as you, hormones kick in and mama is fierce to run to a crying baby!
    One of my favorite themes of your blog is the encouragement to put this work of a mom in it's revered place.
    Thank you for serving me with these words today.

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  16. This is an important message. Thank you for taking the time to write and post this. I feel so much peace when I am here, visiting your blog. It feels like I just had a visit with you. I wish I "knew you" when we first started our family. It took me a long time to be okay with slowing down for as long as it was needed after a new baby arrived. I did feel that pressure to get back in shape and into "social life" and into my best "me" as if nothing happened. I still feel sometimes people have no idea of the demands of a large family. It is (has been) hard for me to say no at times for that reason... They often ask me: "so what do you do all day?" LOL
    Thank you for offering a much needed comfort and message.

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  17. Thank you for this. I am 8 weeks away from baby #3 and am already feeling the pressure. I know it's ok for me to sit here and take care of the babe. And that's what I'm going to do.

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  18. Wow! A tooth already! My daughter was a year before she had any teeth. She is a beautiful baby!

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  19. Wonderful post, thank you so much. It was exactly what I need today!

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  20. So true! Why are we always in a rush to get back to normal when our normal is completely changed! Well said!

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  21. you are the bomb diggety. thanks for sharing your hard earned wisdom. as always. seriously, if I had to pick ONE blog, I'm quite sure I'd choose yours. have a GREAT day!

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  22. Thank you for writing this! You have such a gift for putting into words the things we mamas know in our hearts. Thanks for encouraging us with your wisdom! Also, Janey is a beautiful baby girl :)

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  23. Spot on! Those newborn days are over for me :( but I firmly support your ideas! what a wonderful time for BOTH mom and babe....

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  24. Yes, yes, yes! I agree with you 100% (and I'm glad that she has made her switch to easy baby).

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  25. You are so right. Thank you for saying all of that. Our third sweet baby is 11moths old (tear) and I'm just re-evaluating everything I committed to before he was born.

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  26. I've been a reader of yours for several years now and have never commented. Your post today nearly brought me to tears! My husband and I adopted our precious baby girl when she was 3 weeks old. She is now four months old. We CONSTANTLY feel the pressure to 'get back to normal' with our lives. It's such a struggle. Our sweet girl is the BIGGEST thing that's ever happened in our lives! We went from no children to the parents of a three week old. It was a tremendous change to say the least.

    Anyway, I just wanted you to know how much I APPRECIATE your candid post. It's reassuring to know there are parents out there who feel the same way we do!

    P.S. Janey is a doll baby!

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  27. Oh my gosh!! I couldn't have said it better!! I agree!! My 3 are all far from the baby stage and I tried so hard to soak up each day knowing it would pass all to quickly...I never regretted the time I made for them!! They are a gift to us, entrusted to our care from the Lord and that shouldn't be taken lightly... I was so thankful I didn't have to know that in 6-8 weeks I would be back at work...that I could stay home and depend on my husband for all that. We didn't have loads of $$, but I wouldn't trade the time with my kids for all the $$$ in the world!!

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  28. I totally agree with you. Babies should rock our worlds. Why get so excited to meet them while pregnant and then act like if they aren't there? You seem like such an awesome mom and have definitely learned alot of tips and tricks to use with my family!

    Ida
    secondchancesgirl.blogspot.com

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  29. thank you! i'm going to be re-reading this if i am blessed with a fourth child in the future :) it's always so hard to see through the fog during those sleepless, exhausting days. thank you for your wise encouragement!

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  30. Thanks so much! I needed that. I have a 3 week old and she is nursing so frequently. My mother is in the back of my mind telling me I am spoiling her, give her a bottle, don't feed her so often and that voice fights with me each day.
    I would love to know, if you nursed on demand frequently how did you take care of the older kids. I have a 5 and 3 year old. THe oldest is in school but the 3 year old is always asking me to play. I feel terrible always saying I have to feed the baby. I don't want him to resent her.

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  31. I would like to copy that last paragraph and put it on a t-shirt! And wear it every day! And point to it when someone makes me feel like I am not jumping back into life fast enough!

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  32. Hi Rebecca! Yes I've always fed on demand and it IS hard with other little ones-but remember those constant close feedings are SO much more manageable as the weeks and months go by and the little ones do get used to it also. I tried to not feel guilty-thinking that they had the same nursing experience themselves and now it was the new baby's turn. There are lots of tricks-on the really hard days (the fussy ones or the growth spurt ones) I would let them watch a movie, or I would get a new toy out just for some peace and quiet. Sometimes just "watching" them play is enough attention.

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  33. In our family, the first one to find a baby's new tooth buys them their first pair of "real" shoes, which ends up meaning a ridiculously expensive pair of cute shoes! Tell Abbey to start shopping!!

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  34. Aww, my baby (#1!) is about two weeks older than Janey and just sprouted her first tooth too. But this was so nice to read from a seasoned mom, and to keep in mind for future babies, whether or not they are quite as colicky as this one was... it really has made this period around six months even more of a dream, by contrast. I just don't know how babies could get any cuter than this and it's so wonderful to see her continually happy after such an unhappy start.

    I like that doctor's theory about the purpose of colic quoted above! Makes sense.

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  35. So true. Great reminder as I gear up to have baby no. 5! Babies are worth it....

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  36. Thank you for this. I just had my 3rd baby a month ago and have been feeling so stressed out. Life got back to "normal" so quickly. I knew I needed my husband to stay home longer, my m-i-l to stay longer, and my mom to come over more often, but I felt like everyone just expected me to be able to get back to being a stay-at-home mom by myself after only a couple weeks. Thanks to your post, I don't feel so bad that the house is a little messier, or that I didn't cook dinner last night. I am less embarrassed to tell my husband that I am not ready to do the whole "bedtime routine" by myself while he is at work thing yet. I still need help with this new family of ours, and that is ok.

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  37. Thank you so much for this post! Today just happened to be an extremely difficult afternoon with my 2nd and it was so nice to read that I am not alone!

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  38. All of it so so true!
    I once had a friend make the comment that 'every child is born into a different family' and it confounded me for a while....until I stopped to really unpack it: YES that 4th child is the ONLY one who was born into the family with 2 brothers and one sister...no one else. Enjoy your time with her!

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  39. i so completely agree. like i would tatoo this on my forehead if it wasn't so dang long. ;) if i had a dime for every time i was reassuring a young momma that the crazy is meant to make you BETTER. to let go of the expectations and ride the wave of being overwhelmed trusting that it will be okay. to pat yourself on the back if you loved well today .... and that is all you did. ... well i'd send myself on vacation to hawaii with all those dimes. :) i have said it before-- and i will say it again--- you encourage me so so so much. keep rockin it sarah. :)

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