Friday, May 6, 2011

Two Kinds Of People by Bloom Guest Livia

Liv's installment is one of my favorites in our May celebration for its honesty and genuineness. Perhaps you relate...?

There are two kinds of people in this world...
When I had Aspen's photos taken at Sears around her 5-month birthday, I visited for a few minutes with the mother of a newborn.

She was all, "oh I love this snuggly little newborn stage. Everything is so sweet and I enjoy it so much."

Then I was all, "oh I hated the newborn stage. It made me feel like a crazy person."

Then she was all, *blink* ... *blink*

Yup. Mighty fine conversation we had there about babies.

The memories of Aspen's first few weeks are getting less painful, but I still thank the heavens above she didn't get permanently stuck in that stage of life. You know, like in Groundhog Day or something.

I'll never, ever forget how horrible it was when she wouldn't eat. She wouldn't eat with me, and she wouldn't eat from a bottle (probably because the formula we received from the hospital was recalled DUE TO BUGS). I'll never, ever forget how horrible it was when she wouldn't sleep. She would lay swaddled in her bouncy chair and Kev or I would fall asleep rocking that stupid thing with one hand. I'll never, ever forget how horrible it was when she wouldn't stop screaming. Thankfully, it was only on an occasional bad day, but it was enough to make me want to peel my ears off my head and swallow them whole.

What I'm trying to say is that for me, having a newborn was the hardest thing I've ever experienced in my life. So if your newborn is driving you crazy, then I'm the gal to call. I won't judge. I won't think you're a bad parent. I won't tell you not to worry.

I will listen. And I will show you Aspen, who is living proof that newborns grow up. And so will you.

You can find more of Liv at
her blog. Or in her shop.


Abbie said...

Oh newborns. Hmm... I agree. Not my favorite part of life. But 3-6 months. That's when they're cute and stop screaming so much. And luckily my #2 newborn was less of a screamer and less fussy. Luckily!

Also, can we talk about how terrible YOU feel when you have a newborn? I felt so fat and ugly and tired. It really doesn't help those first 3 months.

Okay, Bloom, how do we change this? Can someone write something about loving newborns more and our fatty post-pregnant bodies more. Then I might think about having a third:) Thank you!

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

EXCELLENT post. I've finally decided to completely and fully own up to the absolutely extreme hard time I had with my first baby. Not gonna sugarcoat it. Do I love my kids? Heck yeah. Has every baby gotten easier? Heck yeah.

But I'm there with a very sympathetic ear to the newborn mommy. Been there, done that.

Anonymous said...

I love this because it is so true. But I have to say that my struggle was more with the pregnancy. (Although the first 7 weeks of my daughters life was just about survival and learning to ignore the unending crying. We are now at week 8 and the sun seems to be shining on me... for now.) I was so sick I lost 20 lbs, got kidney stones and bladder infections from said kidney stones, then my husband had to hook me up to an IV everyday for 3 weeks so that I would survive. I was throwing up the entire pregnancy, including on the operating table as they finally got her out of me through c section. I still feel guilty about hating pregnancy so much because so many woman love it.
I love the honesty and humor you write this in!
Carry on Sista!

Liv said...

Thank you!

I visited with a neighbor yesterday who's worried about having a baby- she doesn't LOVE newborns either.

Thankfully it's all worth it.

And let me tell you, I had to go back to instructing Yoga/Pilates a mere 6 weeks after my daughter was born. Talk about feeling gross in your new body!!

Bloom said...

Funny you should mention feeling nasty after birth. That's where I've been at. Staring at my closet every morning knowing that nothing in there fits my enormous boosies and middle...which made me which someone would write a 'guide to postpartum wardrobe' post...

Can't say enough about how much I love your honesty. That was the hardest thing for me the first time around--not loving my life, not knowing what to do with my screaming babe, and feeling guilty-like I must be the only mother to feel that way.

Also, I am here to say that it seems to get easier with each baby. The more experience you have, the more relaxed you feel, and the more able you are to appreciate the newborn stage. At least that's been my experience. I love it now.


Bloom said...

oops, i mean 'made me WISH' not 'made me which'

Robin said...

Thank you for telling it like it is! The first of my kids couldn't STOP eating--he wanted to nurse every hour of the day! The last one also had nursing problems. I'll never forget how hard I sobbed when I finally made him that first bottle of formula when he was three weeks old because he just wasn't getting any milk. Sure, there are brief moments of snuggly bliss, but it's hard to remember them amidst the extreme sleep deprivation! I always felt like I was coming out of a cloud around two or three months after they were born.

You know, I also think you expect to fall in love with your new baby instantly, but that was never the way it was with me. I always looked at my newborns with amazement and curiosity, but I'll admit, it took several weeks before I could say I was truly in love with them. But I think that having to work so hard for them actually ends up making us love them more. You love who you serve, right?

Heather said...

It's so true, the newborn stage can be a rough ride! My first wouldn't eat either for the first 2 weeks and then the day after I went to the lactation specialist somehow it just clicked for him. He had reflux, was on medication, cried a lot, which made me cry... but, it's true (at least for me) that it does get easier. The second time around was so much better! Anne put it perfectly.

And yes, @Abbie - SO true! Totally laughing. I feel so yuck those first 3 months. A HOT mess if you will :)

Megan said...

Yes there are two kinds of people in the world. THe ones who are easy newborns and the ones who are not. My children as newborns had no trouble eating or sleeping. They blended into our routines easily(and I can pray it is the same for any future children). But I do not doubt that a newborn that refuses to eat, sleep and therefore is rather unhappy would drive you crazy. And I will not judge you for that. We each have our own concerns to get over with the children we are blessed with. And we each get to learn and enjoy them in our own way.

Emily said...

Best advice I ever received--don't feel guilty if you don't love every minute of motherhood. Heaven knows I've hated every minute of potty training.

Heather - said...

My first baby wanted to eat constantly, refused to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time, and was inconsolable unless I (not anyone else, not even my husband) held him. At that point in my life, it was hard to imagine a life without screaming! I loved my baby, but I did NOT love the newborn stage :)

Luckily, my second baby ate and slept really well, and by the time numbers three and four came along, I was more comfortable in my role as a mother and was able to enjoy my newborns, even if they weren't always "easy".

If I had to pick, though, 9 months+ is my favorite :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Livia! Thank you so much! This is making me feel so much better. I thought most people loved the newborn stage. Mine was by far the MOST AWFUL few monts of my life--colic, breastfeeding problems, post-partum depression (no one has talked about that yet), and while my husband was working 80 hours a week and I was YW President. Shoot me. But I have learned to be so much more compassionate and non-judgemental towards other mothers. Please bless God has heard my prayers of repentance and sends me a good baby next time! --Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Most moms I know don't like the newborn stage. I guess I'm an exception. I loved it. I do admit my kids didn't have eating or sleeping problems. They nursed every 2 hours and slept most of the day. I did co-sleep and thus did not suffer major sleep deprivation. (Just rolled over and nursed half-asleep). Just thought I'd put it out there for any readers who have not experienced this stage yet and to know it does not have to be awful.

Deanna said...

When I was pregnant and nearing the birth of our first a couple friends of ours said, "Oh, I can't wait for you to have your baby. It's the greatest experience. We are loving it."
I spent the last 3 months of my pregnancy imagining a "peaceful, easy birth". That didn't happen. I had a colicky baby, latching issues, postpartum depression, and my husband and I had never fought before like we did when we had our first. I was outraged that my friends had lied to me!
"What the heck were they talking about?" I thought. I try to make it a point now to be honest with soon-to-be-new-parents. It just isn't fair to talk about the good and completely skip over the bad.

Anonymous said...

What a sad post to read on mother's day. What a miracle life and motherhood are, even when they are hard and difficult. Perhaps you have never miscarried or struggled with pregnancy or thanked God for every precious scream.

Liv said...

My daughter was a very straightforward newborn, but perhaps I can be more clear about why it was a hard stage for me- I went from being the breadwinner of the family to being a mom. In a matter of two weeks, I stopped working full-time and instead started being a parent full-time (a different kind of work!).

Emotionally, I was not prepared to have what felt like no control over my life. I did not have family nearby to support me. My depression flared up due to the stress of being blessed with a baby.

I did wait a long time to have my daughter, though not due to fertility issues. I recognize that she is a blessing, but when post-partum reared its ugly head, I was simply not prepared.

However, now that my daughter is 9 months old, I relish motherhood. It just took me a while to get to this point. I have never regretted having a baby, especially after the long and painful wait for her arrival.

Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

Kalli Ko said...

Easy Anonymous,

I miscarried twice before having 2 healthy boys 2 years apart and still found myself NOT loving the newborn stage.

Though they smell delicious and are so very presh, the nursing and chapped nipples and hormones and bleeding and squawking and everything else newborn ad nauseum is more than a bit overwhelming.

I feel you on this one.

Kalli Ko said...

@Emily, hear hear on the pottytraining! Blech! I feel like I always smell like poop somehow, like he got it on me somewhere and I can't find it. My house is permeated with the lingering scent of poop no matter how hard I try to keep it otherwise.

I will have my reward in heaven, or so I tell myself.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous (the one who didn't leave her name),

Guess what? I've had fertility issues and 2 miscarriages! And even though I had a colicky baby who screamed all day and never slept (yes, even though I tried co-sleeping which just made things worse) and PPD, I am still more grateful than ever to have a baby. Please don't judge those of us who don't have the newborn stage easy because we have been given challenging babies.

Livia, you rock.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to air my personal baggage in a public place. Newborns can be tough.