The Newborn Phase

Image by J. Mears

Hudson Jay Mears was born November 7, 2012. He arrived 13 days sooner than expected with an active labor and delivery totaling less than 5 hours. Motherhood took off like a rocket and I was not ready for what the early days had in store for me.

The last five months have been incredible and humbling. I've worked harder, felt more joy and more depression than ever in my life. Parenthood launched me into a world of extremes and I have had to re-learn how to balance. Before I launch into how wonderful things are now (which they are, Hudson's amazing) and how every day is full of more joy, happiness and challenge than I have ever known. I must start by being honest about how difficult the first three months were for me. I share this because I was shocked at myself for feeling what I felt the first three months. I had pictured strolls in our city neighborhood, picnics in Golden Gate Park, brunch with friends with my Bugaboo Bee parked next to me (it's laughable to me now). My reality was crying, nursing, swaddling, burps, shushing, crying and crying again (the baby and me).

The truth is, I was very naive about what life with a newborn would be like, even though I probably read over a dozen books to be as prepared as possible. Looking back now, I realize that I thought I was coming home from the hospital with a 4 or 5 month old. I had never really spent time with a newborn, all the babies I had seen strolling out and about were passed the newborn phase. I was clueless, but didn't know I was clueless and that was my biggest mistake.

It's true what everyone says, nothing can really prepare you for parenthood- you just have to experience it. I didn't believe that at the time. I thought, of course you can prepare, preparation is my middle name. I had a plan, I read The Baby Whisperer, Babywise, The Happiest Baby on the Block, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, the list goes on. But what I ignored was the fine print in each book which states "each baby is different." For a planner like me, the early days of motherhood were not easy. Let me caveat that by saying, I loved my baby boy to pieces, but I was devastated at every turn and overwhelmed by the smallest of decisions. Lucky for me, I had friends, parents (thank you thank you mom and dad), in-laws and an amazing husband (I could not have got through it without Jay) to help me get to where I needed to be. But it took awhile, 13 weeks to be exact, for me to feel like myself and get a grip on my new normal and my new life as a mom. Once I got through the newborn phase, it was like a switch went off and things just got easier. There were smiles, longer naps, 8 hour sleep stretches - and then came the strolls, the picnics and the general predictability which I had envisioned.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a mother. But I wanted to share my struggles with the blogosphere because when I was in the thick of it, I felt very alone. I wanted to let anyone out there struggling to know, it gets better - and easier - and completely amazing. Those smiles and laughs will come and they will melt your heart.

Image by K. Mears




2 comments:

  1. It's a very humbling experience, indeed. And, sometimes, it's not the first child that sends you into the biggest tailspin. You think...I've got this parenting thing under control. NOT. Thanks for sharing Kavita. I'm so happy for you. Parenthood is the hardest but most rewarding job to have.

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    1. Thanks Tanagrame! I know there will be more struggles and joy ahead but in the beginning I felt so overwhelmed I never thought I would be at a place where I could reflect. I'm enjoying watching my little boy grow - way too quickly already!

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