Sunday, March 16, 2014

4 months

It's been four whole months since Stella was born and I still don't have the words to adequately express how excited, tired, incredulous, scared, and humbled I feel to now be her mama.  While I realistically knew it wouldn't be bliss all the time, I had seriously underestimated the of hard work, self doubt, and of course sleep deprivation that would become our norm.  It's been helpful to realize that most everything (the good and the bad) are just phases and will pass, and to learn to be flexible and adapt as you go along.  This is especially difficult for a creature of habit, schedules and routines like me but I'm learning slowly.  Most of all, my choice in how to view things has made a large difference.  On a bad day, I would feel like the baby was taking me hostage, catering to her every whim.  And on a good day, I would be able to tell myself that responding to her needs helps strengthen our bond and that a secure attachment will ultimately give her the confidence to explore and be independent.  She can't know she's deliberately keeping me away from my sleep or household chores or online shopping, she simply just needs her mama. 

Near the end of my pregnancy, I started feeling more introverted and wanted to keep my world quite small and protected, probably in anticipation of the baby and the total chaos that would ensue.  After she was born, our world opened back up and I felt so supported by family and friends who encouraged us every step of the way and marveled at Stella along with us.  There was great advice and not so great advice, all given with good intentions.  And slowly we are learning what feels right to us and the values we want to have as parents.  Navigating new parenthood can sometimes feel isolating and yet there is also great comfort knowing others who have walked the same path.  In the beginning when things were just so new and difficult I couldn't wrap my brain around how other people did this and even had multiple children!  Were their babies just better sleepers?  Did they have selective amnesia?  Now when I am up for the 4th time at night with Stella, I think about other mothers somewhere around the world that are up at that very moment with their babies as well.  And if it's 5am, I think about my friend Jill who is probably up with her baby just a few miles away from me.  And this helps me feel less lonely and more brave to join the ranks of these women who have come before me in loving and raising their babies. 


  1. She is too sweet!! It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job, listening to your babies needs! I find it really challenging to not second guess myself when it comes to parenting. The stakes are so high, but who knows our babes better than us? In case this is of any help (I came across it through another mama friend, followed them on FB, and it has eased many fears), here's a website that validates following your instincts. Like anything, I don't agree with everything they say, but their articles that normalize baby sleep & night wakings have helped me much. Mamahugs to you!

  2. I want to squeeze her! She is too precious. I am thinking of you, mama. I have been so busy with work and life that keeping up with blogs and emails have fallen to the wayside. But I am glad things are settling down and you are feeling community, despite the alienating aspects of motherhood. Selective amnesia is a powerful thing, I think.