May 15, 2015

Turning the hard into good

"I can't. I can't do it. I can't listen to him cry anymore," I said to Ben, my voice laced with desperation. "I know he's full, and he's burped and changed, he just won't settle down."

I passed the baby off to Ben and continued, "I need to go upstairs for a few minutes."

Ben started rocking with Parker in his arms. "That's fine babe, just go."

I climbed the stairs, thinking about how I was abandoning Ben, but knowing losing my patience wouldn't help anybody. I closed the door to the bedroom, gingerly climbed onto the bed, held my stomach where my c-section incision was, and just cried.

You're not cut out for this. This is why you couldn't have a baby for so long because you aren't up for the hard part. It's been two weeks, why can't you do this already?

Negative thoughts were followed by positive ones.

It's only been two weeks. It's 3:30 in the morning and you recognized you were about to lose it - you had the sense to walk away and rest for half an hour so you're not taking out your frustration about the situation on either of those guys downstairs. You love your son and he knows that - as does Ben.

I dozed for a bit, and when I came back to the top of the stairs at 4 AM, heard Ben whisper, "babe, just go back to bed, we're fine down here."

I hesitated. It was so tempting. But wouldn't they need me?

"I have to pump at 6," I whispered back.

"Okay, then come down at 6."

"Is he okay?" I asked, worry in my voice.

"He's fine. He's sleeping."

"Are you okay?" I followed up, still not convinced.

"I'm fine babe - go sleep."

"Okay...I love you."

"Love you too."

I came down at 6 o'clock, pumped, and felt rested. Ben and I tag teamed so he went upstairs when  I came down.

Sleep deprivation is an incredible thing (and it's not surprising it's used as a form of torture). It makes you think things that would never otherwise enter your mind, and kills any confidence you might have had building.

But after a little bit of sleep I was able to kiss Parker's cheek and tell him I missed him.

When he shoved his hands in his mouth while simultaneously trying to suck on the bottle I laughed and told him he was goofball instead of getting frustrated he wasn't immediately eating.

When he filled his diaper, I didn't sigh because I'd have to change him again, but instead rubbed his back and murmured, "I hope you feel better now buddy."

Yes, this parenting thing is incredible. Possibly the most incredible thing Ben and I have ever done. But I have to remember to grant myself grace - just because we wanted it doesn't mean it won't be hard. In fact, that might make it harder. In the end, of course it's worth it, but that doesn't mean we can't have bad moments in the thick of it.
I've always prided myself on being real on this blog - thank you for creating a safe space for vulnerability and rawness. Happy Friday my friends.


Nora said...

And this post is exactly one of the reasons I love you, Burrito Ben (and of course Burrito Parker). You're real. You're a REAL couple. It's not all rainbows and unicorns. I can't fathom how hard it must be not sleep for hours on end or not know what Parks wants when he's crying for minutes upon minutes. But I do know that you're an awesome mom, no matter what. You care, you're loving and you've got your head on straight. Sending as much love and good vibes as I can muster. xoxo <3

Anonymous said...

Thank YOU for your honesty! And you're an awesome Mom. Seriously, sleep deprivation is nothing to mess with-- I think all the lack of sleep know means he'll be an easy teenager ;)

Amy said...

My second son had silent reflux. All the screaming (the name is a joke) but no spitting up (because he was just swallowing it back down). For 4 months we thought we just had a devil child. He could scream 4-6 hours without pause, until he lost his voice. It was so bad my husband had to get on medication when he was almost 3 months old just to deal. As per the norm with reflux though by 6 months it cleared and he was a brand new baby! Dealing with all that was hard. Hardest thing we ever did. But at the same time it was the most wonderful time. We were so in love with having the twins my husband was actually disappointed when I wasn't pregnant again at 5 weeks post partum! It IS hard but that doesn't mean it isn't still the most wonderful, incredible, amazing blessing in your life. Be gentle with yourself. You truly are doing amazing and you were right to walk away and rest.

Amber said...

Thanks so much for being so honest. I've really appreciated the honesty of my friends who have had babies over the last year. I'm so so glad you have Ben and the two of you are such an amazing parenting team and such great supports for each other. So much love to you both - you are an AMAZING mom! xoxo

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

My doctor told me the reason they make babies so cute is because it is so hard. She has 3 kids, so I'd say she knows.It is SO hard at the beginning. So hard. Sleep deprivation is really bad and it's impossible to know what they want, ever. "Do you think his stomach hurts?" "Did I eat something too spicy at dinner?" "Is he hungry?" "Is he tired?" "Is he crying just to torture me?" WHO FREAKING KNOWS!!!! Just remember, you didn't have a baby or want a baby just for the newborn stage. It will get easier. I think I was SO tired at the beginning and in pain myself that I couldn't even recognize how hard it was. But when I look back I'm like... Eric and my first time out at a restaurant I literally cried the whole meal... so... yeah. It was really hard.

Thanks for being so honest on your blog. I really enjoy reading it and following your journey. Love you!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I admire your honesty so much. Thank you for sharing. So. Many. Hugs. I'll give them to you IRL someday - hopefully sooner than later!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

So many hugs coming your way! I love that you two are such a team when it comes to everything in life. Parenting sounds so hard and I am glad you are being honest about it because I think when people paint these lives of ease, it makes everyone else that is struggling feel even worse about themselves... Keep on keeping on and try not to give into the feelings/thoughts that are telling you that you aren't good at this. Because you are! And you entitled to have hard days and days when you just need a break (and a nap) and I hope no one makes you feel guilty about that because like you said, even when you really really want something, that doesn't mean it won't be hard!

Miss you and wish I could come over and snuggle with Parker!

Nicole said...

Real and beautiful and awesome, friend!

Charis Faith said...

He's so precious!!! Sleep deprivation is no joke, neither are hormones! You and Ben make an amazing team!!! Hugs!!!

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