You’re doing okay, ma.

Posted on | October 4, 2013 | 47 Comments

photo(25)Well hello! I think I just opened my laptop to legitimate dust on the keyboard. It’s not the only dusty place in my house, that’s for sure. Because newborn. Who’s not really a newborn anymore I guess? I don’t know or remember the specifics but I think he might be an “infant” now. Hmph.

It’s been many many weeks since I came by here, which is unfortunate, but very necessary. I had forgotten (read: pushed out of my mind) how intense and rough the first three months can be after birthing a baby. They call it the 4th trimester? Shit knows I wouldn’t want to continue being pregnant for another 3 months, but part of me wouldn’t mind considering it if it meant these babies could come out just a tad more prepared for being alive. The gas! The reflux! For the love of Justin Timberlake, let these poor babies be fully functioning when they exit. It’s sad to watch and very hard on us parents who get the babies who don’t deal well with it (Harper was a baby that dealt okay with it, at least that is what my amnesia brain tells me).

It’s been rough. Smith is the cutest baby alive and with great cuteness comes great responsibility to be the fussiest baby alive to even things out. His cuteness is his defense mechanism against getting sent to the cute baby circus at 3am. Slowly, s.l.o.w.l.y., things are improving but it was touch and go there for a while people. I cried when he did. We did all the things, yet nothing helped. I had days where I literally held and wore him all day while he screamed near my ears and by the time Scot got home I was at hot mess level orange and Harper was sitting in front of the television eating her third pack of fruit snacks because whatthehellever kid I’m just so sorry your brother loves screaming like a banshee and your mom cries a lot. Super sorry.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetI have to give her huge props. All things considered, she has done so well with this transition and ADORES her brother beyond words. She’s very tolerant of him crying and helps me out a bunch.

He’ll be 8 weeks old this weekend (okay?) and I have to say things are looking up? Like not directly up but definitely a 45 degree angle. It happened kind of suddenly last weekend when he started smiling a lot and I don’t know if his reflux and his intestines decided they could smile too or what, but it’s been better. I feel like if this were my first baby I’d be long gone by now in the abyss of my own tears and wine trying to figure out what is wrong with him and wondering if it will ever end. But I’ve had one of these things before, and even though I think she was a different baby than him, I do know that all babies even out eventually and that there is a light somewhere down there. I’m hanging in there because I know that. But I know there are many new moms out there in my spot who may feel alone and overwhelmed and so to you I say, you are doing amazing. This too shall pass. It will get better. It feels like it won’t but it will. No one can promise when, but it will.

I’ve found that as he slowly gets better, I also get better at coping. After being out of the newborn game for so long I found myself feeling really anxious about Smith and becoming kind of neurotic about what might be wrong with him. He does have the reflux, but nothing is really wrong with him that we can “fix”. He’s a baby, he’s new, and he cries. Some babies are just like that. It doesn’t make it any easier, but coming to terms with that lifted the anxiety. Knowing that I’ve done all the things I can to make him comfortable and that after that he’s just going to yell if he wants to, has made my days feel easier Accepting that this time is so short in the grand scheme and that my house will be a mess and I will be a mess right now and someday maybe it won’t and maybe I wont, has helped. And I can’t be sure but I think my relaxing has helped him as well. I’m sure he could sense my anxiety because even though they are new, babies are smart like that.

So here we are at 8 weeks and a combination of me relaxing, his insides maturing, and quite simply, time, has given me the ability to do things like eat, clean up the house, and open my computer. I get to enjoy my baby, which I feel like I was kind of robbed of for a while. I know lots of babies cry for much longer and things could be much, much worse, but I still felt that way. Sleep deprivation makes everything worse. Being a new mom is really fucking hard even in the most lovely of circumstances. You’re doing okay, and so am I.

photo(24)I mean really.

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Comments

  • http://www.thistooisfoundhere.blogspot.com/ Kari Holtkamp

    He’s adorable! Hang in there. Soon this will all be a distant memory, and you’ll be sleeping through the night:) You’re doing great!

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  • OskarsMomma

    The baby circus would gladly still take him… and his show would be called “cutest crying baby evah”

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  • Amy S

    Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear! Kuddos for hanging in there like a champ! I’m sure you will/have received a ton of unsolicited advice, but I took my youngest to a chiropractor for this reason, and it worked leaps and bounds!
    MAN, is that cute!!!! :)

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  • Lena Eivy

    Oh my goodness – he is adorable! Great photos of both kids. Remember, everything is a phase. All the best.

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  • daydreamme

    I hear you! My 2.5yr old daughter sounds like she was very similar to your son as a newborn. I think it is why it is taking me so long to want to try for a second. But like you said, it was just a phase and eventually it gets better. Way better….

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  • http://www.carolineskitchentable.com/ Caroline Shields

    You are amazing, he is adorable, and things will get better soon! We have an almost 8-week-old too and I love reading your posts/checking you out on Instagram. You ROCK!

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  • TwoPretzels

    Your candidness is so refreshing. Most people don’t talk about the crying… and the hardness… and the doling out of more fruit snacks to Kiddo #1.

    May the force be with you. And we’ll be here listening, always.

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  • Steph J

    Holy cow, you’re absolutely right. He is the CUTEST baby I have ever seen!!!! (and I have 2 pretty darn cute kids ;) Congrats and hang in there!

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  • http://www.simplicity-interrupted.com/ Simplicity Interrupted

    Oh.My.God. he’s gorgeous. Keep up the good work, mama <3

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  • Elizabeth

    I’ve never commented before but I’m sending you a hug. My second (now 13 months) had unexplained crying/screaming/general disgruntlement with the world. She’s now 13 months (something about Leos and their roar?!) and she’s still an opinionated little bugger but it’s NOTHING like it was in the beginning (sleep, as you mentioned, has helped tremendously).

    Our worst period was 3-8 weeks so know that you maybe really are seeing light at the end of the particularly fussy tunnel. I think it’s helpful to hear that because at that age I was googling colic and people scared me, saying it lasted a year, eek.

    There’s nothing to do but put one foot in front of the other and take in both the good right now and the long view. Someone mentioned that my older daughter (who’s as sweet as pie and very social) will probably give me more trouble as a teenager. That’s not to say there’s always something bad to look forward at but rather that this is just a moment in time.

    I’m also 17 weeks along with #3 and don’t fear another strong willed baby because if we did it once I KNOW we can do it again! You are doing it!

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  • Amanda

    “…I was at hot mess level orange and Harper was sitting in front of the television eating her third pack of fruit snacks because whatthehellever kid…” Change “Harper” to “Emily” and you have my life for the last three months. Baby #2 is rough, man. Thank you for making me feel less guilty about letting Disney Jr entertain my 3 year old.. Your kids are so cute. And you’re absolutely right – babies are extremely lucky that they’re adorable because without that…they pretty much suck for a while. :)

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  • jacquelinefrey

    i’ve so been there, and it SO SUCKS. but you are doing an amazing job! and kudos to you for keeping the laptop shut and focusing on your family. i love how you keep it real. and he really really is the cutest baby i think i have ever seen (and i have two of my own!) ;)

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  • Ruthy T.

    If you’re ever in Tacoma and need to drop the kiddos off…I’m happy to watch them Mandy!

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  • YouandMeandEllaB

    Mandy,

    When people ask me about my daughter, I say that she was born evil. It’s sort of a joke, but really it’s not. She started crying from the minute she arrived and different stop for six months. I literally lost thirty pounds in two months simply because I could never put her down long enough to eat food. I wore her constantly. There was literally not a minute of the day that I wasn’t holding her, including when I went to the bathroom. Then my nipples almost fell off. It was awful! Hoping I get to do it again one day because, as you said, I feel like I got a little robbed of the whole “I’m in bliss and I love my baby so much” thing. I think she was just never meant to be a baby. She hated all the contraptions and the not being able to move on her own shit. However, she is now 3 and a half and just about the sassiest little tough cookie on the planet.I would do it all again if it meant I would get to have this super cool person living in my house now.

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  • Marja

    Heya!

    I found your blog about a year ago after my big sis had told me she’d had A LOT of trouble getting pregnant (I had no idea of this at the time) and she and his fiancé were finally having a baby! As soon as I heard the news, I started to go through every baby blog on Bloglovin’, found your blog and absolutely fell in love!

    The first post I saw was about your French Bulldog pooping on your armchair, eating the poop AND barfing it all over again, and as a dog person (I have two dogs and they are the pain in my ass but have to love them because they are my kids, u know?), this really was something I could not stop laughing at and I had to keep reading more!

    I’m not sure if you have this thing called godmother (not the fairy tale one) in US, but I am now going to be one to this nephew of mine. My sis gave birth to this amazing little baby boy about a month ago and I simply just cannot be happier. HIS HANDS AND TOES ARE SO SMALL!

    I just had to write this to tell you that I absolutely love your way of blogging and I hope you all the best with your lovely kids!

    Greetings from all the way from Finland!

    - Marja

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  • Mel

    Oh man, I feel ya. My daughter SCREAMED constantly until she was about 8 months old. She had sensory issues. She hated being down, yet also hated being held. From 8 months to 12 months she was better, but then she was extremely challenging until she was 4 1/2 years old! As crazy as all that was, I still miss her being little sometimes. She’s a great person, and has made me a better person, too. Hang in there!

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  • http://bringingupbaby.tumblr.com/ jss

    1. His hair is my most favoritest thing ever. 2. Aren’t adaptable big kids THE BEST? Thank Beyoncé for them. 3. Hang in there, it gets better. Things were so much rougher with Fitz than I remember them being with Mac, but he is such a blast now. Once we got past all the senseless crying and all the digestion issues (why do babies arrive so broken?), he turned into the coolest little dude and every day has been so much easier. You’re doing better than okay! You’re doing great under very difficult circumstances! But it’ll get easier soon!! It took us 3 months, but we got there!

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  • Jess

    Thanks for keeping it real. This stuff is hard but knowing that it’s constantly changing and each phase won’t last forever makes it a little easier to cope. He’s a doll and you are doing a great job mama.

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  • Natalie Hankins Brown

    I’m just really glad that you exist and you write and I found you through the randomness that is the internets. Because, girl, you are the realest of real mom bloggers. Thank you for being honest and funny and for letting us see it all. You’re already on the way out of the madness, though I’m sure there will be some fresh hell waiting amid in this parenthood stuff. You’ll high five that in the face, too, ’cause you’re awesome. You know this, but damn you make cute babies, and I am wishing you pink puffy hearts and rainbows and narwhals of happiness. Keep us posted, but only after you sleep as often as possible.

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  • http://www.acutedesigns.org/ Gina

    he’s amazingly cute. and everything ends….it always gets better. xoxo

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  • brooke

    He is adorbs! Sounds tough, has anyone suggested probiotics yet for your little one? I discovered the wonder of them for my lil bundle when she was FUSSY. ALL.THE.TIME! Read a lot about baby gut health, yada yada and gave it a go and it worked miracles (I also did an elimination diet, no dairy, grains, etc. prior to that and when combined with probiotics it was magic!) Just thought it could help you since your situation sounds the same!

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  • http://www.thekammerzells.com/ Nakia

    You’re right, adorable-ness is totally a defense mechanism. There are almost 7 years between my first two and I was so unprepared for going through the newborn stage again that its not even funny. Weeks of sad, hurty boobs; screaming, weight-losing baby; neglected older child. It was just ugly. Then magically everything evened out and here I am not two years later and well into my third pregnancy. Let’s hope that because my brain hasn’t had enough time to block things out that I’ll handle it much better this time around. ;)

    You are doing great mama.

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  • From Casinos To Castles

    Our first (and only) definitely didn’t deal with it very well as you so eloquently put it. And I always say, still to this day, it’s a good thing you are so cute. So you may be on to something with that theory! Love your pictures and he really is a cutie!

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  • Sabrina

    I’ve always wished babies could come out about 6 months old—eating well, napping on a regular schedule, sleeping through the night, sitting up and play-with-able! I’d happily push out a 15-pounder if it meant I didn’t have to deal with the hell that is the newborn stage. But here I am preggo with #4—we forget the horribleness so quickly! Your guy is such a cutie, don’t sell him to the circus just yet!

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  • http://erstwhiledear.com/ Rachael Ringenberg

    oh this made me LAUGH. We’re over here at 10 weeks. The fruit snacks in front of the TV–I mean, things could be so much worse, right!? But still, we see it through our husband’s eyes as he walks in the door. All those ambitions of no-screens and lots-of-family-dinners! They aren’t so far away again, right?
    I love how you use instagram to see the joy&beauty in these unbaked kiddos. A good reminder for me when I see your posts.

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  • Jennifer

    he is precious!!!! More pictures! Loveeee

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  • Ikkenoenytt.wordpress.com

    Just found your blog and I love it!

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  • http://littleorangebigworld.blogspot.com/ Nani

    i am happy to hear everything is okay. Had the same thoughts with our little bear over here when she was just so colicy it was driving me nuts because I could not figure out what we were doing “wrong” Basically nothing was wrong it was just something she had to go threw and 6 months in my mommy brain has already started to brainwash the pulling my hair out moments. It gets better and Saera right there with Harper tv and all.. we even found a love for My little pony

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  • Little_Tad

    My son was insanely fussy no matter what I did until he was 9 months old, when we found out he had multiple food allergies that were wreaking havoc on his insides. Until then I hadn’t gotten more than a 3 hour stretch of sleep. NINE. MONTHS. I was a wreck. All of his crying and lack of sleep gave me crazy anxiety and I grew to hate moms with easygoing babies who slept through the night. It’s rough. I wish more moms would be real about it because he was my first, so I was constantly thinking I was doing something wrong.

    Glad things are looking up for you. I love seeing your pictures and reading your blog.

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  • Nic

    what a handsome little guy!!

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  • Jessica

    Thank God for you – someone who can be real about the hardships of motherhood. I had my little man a week before yours and have been dealing with all the same issues. This is my first, so I’m constantly wondering if there is something wrong with me or something wrong with him. And even though I always hear that they’ll grow out of it, I secretly worry that I’ll have the one baby who never grows out of it. It’s hard. But it makes things better to know that others are going through the same thing. So sick of reading blog after blog by moms who have “perfect” babies and make it sound so easy. I’m not alone. Thank you! … And by the way, you sure do make some beautiful babes. :)

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  • Lisa

    This is so sweet and honest and perfectly put. Thank you for sharing it. I only have one at the moment, but I’m thinking of how to time the second. I’m scared, because you’re so right, those first few months are batshit crazy. But now that my guy is on the verge of walking, I have to strain to remember those few truly agonizing moments. The ‘this is only temporary’ reminder is a pretty effective coping mechanism. Hang in there, and try not to ‘pile it on’ as my husband says. You’re clearly doing awesome.

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  • Tara

    Um, your baby is ridiculously cute. Seriously.

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  • Lauren

    Good luck, you can do it! I have a 3 month old (and an almost 3 year old) and now remember why they call it the 4th trimester. The first month was hard, really hard, but WE can do it!

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  • Sonya

    Im a new reader and follower on instagram. Just wanted to tell you I love love love your blog! You are hilarious!! Just love your style of writing.

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  • Josephine

    Amen. My second (Felix) is 13 months old now, but the first year of his life was the hardest of mine (so far). His brother (Oliver) was just over 2 when he was born. They were both ‘high maintenance’ babies. There was probably some reflux that was never diagnosed! When Felix was born, Oliver became quite sad for a while and developed stress-induced constipation. Wow, they were some truly awful weeks – little sleep, and all 3 of us crying. But we made it through! With both boys, I started feeling better after the 4 month mark, and better again once they started sitting up by themselves. Sleep was a problem for many months and I finally admitted defeat and called in a sleep nurse (best thing ever).

    I do feel sad that I enjoyed so little during those first months, but things are fun these days with the two boys playing with each other (and mostly sleeping better) ;-)
    May the force be with you! (Smith is a devastatingly beautiful boy, btw.)

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  • Erin Senge

    Even when it’s easy, it’s still so. damn. hard. I remember feeling the same way, like, I wish I could really, truly “enjoy every minute” like people tell you to, if only it weren’t so damn hard. I especially felt like that with my first, when I spent the whole first month terrified she was going to die (for really no legitimate reason). I really wish I could get that time back, and really enjoy it. I also wish I could smack anyone that tells me to “enjoy every minute.”

    Anyway. You’re doing amazing at the hardest job there is. And Smith is so unbelievably adorable. Your kids are going to break the internets with their unrelenting cuteness. If he’s anywhere near as charismatic and hilarious and darling as Harper, we should all just pack up and go home.

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  • writeintights.com

    Oh, he’s so lovely! I completely understand. My girl is going on nine months and it’s much-much easier, but still the hardest thing in the world! I was just telling a friend that is a new-first-time mama that each thing passes and another thing comes. So, right when it seems like you can’t take anymore, that thing stops and a new thing starts. Somehow, that helps… a little. It’s definitely a good thing those babes are gorgeous! Always. xo

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  • Jill

    Reading your blog for the first time ever at 3:30am as I nurse my 7 week old. He’s my second child (three-year-old girl as well), and I needed to hear this. It is effing hard! I needed the reminder that it will get easier, his tummy will adjust, his cradle cap will stop looking vicious and he will become a little person of his own. You do feel so bad for them as they struggle through these first few months. And sleep deprivation–oy vay. It’s REAL.

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  • Nikki

    oh my goodness!!!!! his face is perfect. so adorable!

    xxoo,
    nikki

    http://www.dreaminneon.blogspot.com

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  • MyLyn Wood

    he really is one of the cutest babies i’ve ever seen. :-) my first baby was that way. the first 8 weeks, if he was awake and not eating, he was crying. holy raw emotions! but you’re right. it got better. and he’s adorable. :-)

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  • mamakatslosinit

    It’s like this weird boot camp moms have to go through and the rest of us would LOVE to help but really there’s nothing we can do. Aside from move in and become a sister wife for 3 months to help with the transition. It’s SOOOO hard! But he really is adorable. You have such a beautiful family!

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  • Kate Frenkel

    It’s a lovely post!!! You’re really doing OK, juggling all new mom’s routine and a blogging. I had not a free minute until my baby turned 6 months.
    By the way, photography is wonderful. The b&w one with your daughter and lil son is simply beautiful!!!

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  • Kelly Baron

    What’s Harper going to be for Harperween?

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  • Crystal

    He’s so cute!

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