Month 1: Our first month as a family of three wasn't quite the fairytale I had imagined. I spent virtually all of my time while I was pregnant worrying about the act of labor itself. I figured motherhood would come naturally and as crazy as it sounds, I barely gave it a second thought. After all, I had waited three years for this miracle; surely I would bond to her immediately. They did put Addison on my chest as soon as she was born, but she was having a little trouble breathing so they took her very quickly; I barely caught a glimpse of her. They whisked her away for a very long time, and honestly, I was so exhausted that I barely protested. I had been up for about 36 hours at that point and I was borderline delirious. Several hours later, when she started screaming inconsolably, I couldn't help but feel slightly relieved when the nurse took her away. The only thing on my mind was sleep, and there was little room for gult.
Once we got her home, the constant screaming continued. She had trouble nursing and was jaundiced, so we had to supplement with formula to ensure she was getting enough to eat. She rarely slept at night, preferring to nap exclusively during the day, and even then only giving in to sleep when she was wrapped up in the arms of her mommy or daddy. Erik and I took turns staying up all night so that we weren't complete zombies. We saved all of our energy for Addison and left nothing for each other or ourselves. I couldn't help but wonder what we had gotten ourselves into.
I can remember one night in particular in which I came into the bedroom where Erik was sleeping at about 3:30AM. I was crying hysterically and Addison was screaming in my arms. I had tried EVERYTHING, and at that point she had been screaming in my face for around 4 hours straight. I felt like a failure, a lunatic, and a sleep-deprived time bomb all in one. He jumped out of bed, let me crawl into it, and took over for the rest of the night. I felt a new respect for single moms at that moment; I don't know how I could have done it without Erik's help.
I had another breakdown about the time I finally worked up the courage to look at myself unclothed in the mirror. I remember telling Erik at that moment that my body was "ruined." Up until then I had been wearing baggy sweats like a security blanket. All throughout my pregnancy I saw different magazines touting celebrities going from due date to physically fit in mere weeks. I was honestly shocked that after almost a month, my body looked nothing like theirs... never mind their stylists, personal trainers, nutritionists, chefs, nannies, and plastic surgeons.
Of course there were beautiful moments interlaced throughout each day. Staring at the beauty of Addison's angelic, sleeping face. Breathing in her sweet scent as I held her in my arms. Gazing into her big blue eyes. Those times helped me remember to relish her first month, to recognize that she would be walking and talking in the blink of an eye.
I'm still not sure why I was so unprepared for the intensity of that first month as a first-time mom. Sure, we had heard that we would have a lack of sleep. I had been told that I would be in a lot of pain those first few
|Addison at one month approving of the bookcase Daddy built her.|