Friday, October 19, 2012

Flashbacks

My sister is deep in the throes of the first weeks of new mommyhood. I was reading through the comments on the Facebook post that announced my nephew’s arrival, and several people posted some variation of this message (stop me if you’ve heard this one): Enjoy every moment during this amazing time!

Um. No.

Let’s talk about this. Yes, every second of a wee babe’s life is precious, but from the perspective of a new parent (never forget!), those first weeks home you are in literal hell (FINE, FIGURATIVE HELL), which consequently defies laws of physics because you are simultaneously in hell and amazed by, in awe of, and in love with your new baby.

But literally (figuratively), it is hell.

Here’s the thing though... other parents will give you this line about enjoying every second somewhat wistfully (“They are only that small for a short period of time.”) because they have forgotten that they too were in a sleep deprived, confused, hormone-induced, post-delivery recovery hell-state (NEVER FORGET). All they are left with is the memory of sitting in the nursing chair rocking a tiny perfect brand new human who is sleeping peacefully, which, yes, is awesome, but the other stuff is hell. 

Em's first moments at home.
My advice... grit your teeth and hang on as tight as you can until you hit four to six weeks at which point you will have probably stopped crying several times a day and it starts to get better.

Seriously though, I’ve talked to my sister several times since they got home, and it’s true that you forget how rough it is really quickly. I listen to her and I have these moments of reliving the sheer exhaustion that is recovering from giving birth and learning how to take care of a newborn who has her days and nights mixed up and likes to scream. But in reliving those moments, I realize that I had already forgotten them. It all seems so far away, and yet, it was only 11 short weeks ago.

But the point is, a) it gets better and b) never forget.

1 comment:

@ said...

So true. I imagine that the older the baby becomes, the more the memory of the early days starts to take that golden hue. Though we are already two months out, it does seem like it has gone by quickly. And yet when you're in the trenches, it feels like it will never end. The best advice someone gave me: Try to take a shower everyday.