calm before the storm

November 4, 2012 in Ari Davis,parenthood,postpartum

While all of my friends on the east coast have been recovering from Hurricane Sandy, around these parts we’ve been in the midst of Hurricane Ari.

Y’all, this mom to a newborn thing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Compared to this? Pregnancy was a breeze. This is exhausting.

I didn’t expect this parenting thing to be easy by any means. But Ari has been wide awake all night long for the past 5 nights. And screaming. At the top of his tiny little lungs, for no reason. He will be fed, changed, clothed, warm, and held; and he’ll still scream and scream and scream.

I’ve taken to my twitter family for advice, and I’ve been told that this is just what some babies do.

Do you know what completely sane adults do when their baby cries for hours for no reason whatsoever? They also cry for hours. True story.

Not everything is this depressing around our house. The days are fantastic. He’s a beautiful and happy little guy. We go for walks, trips to Starbucks for some tea [and just to get out of the house], and pick up random things from Target on the daily. We are, otherwise, living life. Just without any sleep and with our patience worn thin.

So hopefully this week in between the screaming and crying, I’ll be able to put together Ari’s birth story. But that may suck any remnants of life from my body [hint: it wasn’t pretty].

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Joelle November 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I’m so sorry that he isn’t sleeping. I can’t offer any advice as I’m not lucky enough to be a mommy yet and am pretty clueless as to baby things. I do hope that this phase passes soon. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.

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Jen @ A Daily Dose of Davis November 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I know what I am about to say will help you in NO WAY WHATSOEVER…but I will say it anyway. This phase will pass honey. Sooner than you think. I remember crying in the middle of the night with my newborn babies, BEGGING them to tell me what they wanted. I would seriously ask them, out loud, what they wanted from me. I never got an answer. But then magically one night…they spelt. The whole night. No explanation. No secret trick. It just finally happened. They grew out of that stage and moved on to the next (which of course came with a lot of new challenges). What you are going through right now is what every mommy goes through in these first few weeks. I promise it gets easier honey. And will start to get more sleep, which will make you feel like a new woman. I agree with your friend above…don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. A little nap or break here in there will do wonders for you. And of course, we are all here for advice whenever you need us!

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Marissa November 5, 2012 at 12:19 am

I so wish I could give you a hug through the computer screen. Being a new mom is completely INSANE. Especially in the beginning. I remember being on an emotional roller coaster. One minute I was sure I would burst from the love and joy and excitement and then two minutes later crying (like ugly crying, not little tears) that I had no idea what I was doing. BFing is painful and hard and I would walk around crying just trying to get him to latch on. I’m not sure if it is the total and utter life change, lack of sleep, hormones, or what but I was crying at everything and nothing. Plus I was mourning over the birth experience I had built up in my head that didn’t happen (AT ALL, emergency c section at 36 weeks) so while logic says yay healthy baby I still feel sad about how it all happened. I know they say new parents lose on sleep, but I had no clue just how hard no sleep for nights on end is. I watched every episode of Mad Men on Netflix in five days while I rocked the baby/nursed. When I think back on the first few months it is such a huge blur. I remember wishing I could just speed up time because those first few months are nuts! Luckily it does get easier. Ari will get his days and nights figured out (I think it took my son 2 months where we weren’t up having all night parties). You will get an ebb and flow with your new life. It just takes time. Little things help (hot shower while your husband watches the baby…but I still would burst out of the shower thinking I had heard the baby crying just to see him in the exact spot I left him sleeping, a nap at 5pm, a good shake you to your core cry session, e-mailing other moms who have been there and will just listen to you worries, concerns, frustrations, etc). I also found walking to be helpful. I would just walk and walk. I would wear my son in the Baby Bjorn and just walk all over. I think being outside and moving helped. Hang in there and feel free to tweet or e-mail me! 🙂

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Nicole November 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Totally agree with what Jen & Marissa said. I can vividly remember those days, doubting myself & thinking that we had made a huge mistake in thinking that we could be parents! I often wished I could go back to those “easy” days of being pregnant.
Here are some things that helped me through this newborn phase:
-call for help & let them hold baby while you lock yourself in the bathroom to take a long shower or bath
-when people would come over to see him & I, I would disappear for a little bit. Even when he wasn’t fussy; just to get a few minutes alone.
-make sure he’s safe in the crib or strapped into the swing, shut the door and walk away for a few minutes to take some breaths & talk yourself down before going back in for “round 2” (or 3 or 4…)
-the Moby wrap worked wonders for my little guy
-those swaddle wraps also seemed to help immensely. (While it can appear that they don’t want to be wrapped up, once we got our baby in there, a few minutes later, he was happy as a clam.)
-walking also seemed to help me (hence the Moby wrap). Even just to the mailbox at the end of the driveway. It seemed really silly to bundle up (my son was born at the end of September) just to walk to the mailbox but I swear, just standing outside for a couple minutes (both with and without him) helped. Still to this day when he’s crabby or seems bored, we walk out front & stand there looking at the house. My neighbors all know now that baby is “having a moment” when we’re just standing outside looking at the house.

I had to laugh at Marissa’s mention of watching an entire tv series on Netflix. I watched “Parenthood”. I now associate the theme song with breastfeeding and that exhaustion.

Hang in there. You’ve got this. 🙂

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Krystyn
Twitter: SeriousKrystyn
November 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm

It is hard…and it will end before you know it.

What helped here…because I know you aren’t soliciting advice, but I’m giving it.

I woke my kiddo up every three hours during the day to eat. Yep, woke them. And then when it was bed time, let them sleep as long as they want. Most of the time at just a little more then a whimper in the middle of the night, I’d get them and feed them before they could really wake and then lay them back down after feeding. And, the swaddling is a huge help, too. Even if they seem like they hate it, give it a little time before unswaddling (if that’s the case). Good luck, honey.

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