Thursday, June 30, 2011

On Having a Baby

I love my daughter.  I love her more than I could have imagined.  She is over a month old now.  I’d love to tell you that the first month has just flown by, but it hasn’t.  In fact, I’m not even comfortable recommending that someone have a baby.  If you came to me right now and asked me if you and your significant other should have a baby, I would probably say no.  

Does this mean I regret having a baby?  Absolutely not.  I couldn’t be happier that Dee and I brought a beautiful little girl into this world.  I just don’t know that I would ever want to do it again.  Why?  Let me list the reasons.

1) The birth took a severe toll on my wife.  Her labor was rough (until she got the epidural).  The delivery was even rougher.  She had a C-section and even then the baby did not come out easily.  She lost a lot of blood — enough that she needed several blood transfusions.  She couldn’t even stand up for two days.  She’s still not fully recovered.  She can walk, but not at her normal pace.  She can’t lift anything heavier than the baby.  She couldn’t even walk our tiny little dog for the first week after we came home.  

2) The constant feeding takes a severe toll on my wife.  If she’s very lucky she gets three straight hours of sleep at a time.  She’s constantly tired and she barely has time to do anything besides sleep and feed the baby.  She’s a very strong woman and her spirits are mostly high, but sometimes she breaks down and it breaks my heart.

3) You get almost nothing back.  The baby can’t really do anything yet.  She doesn’t laugh or smile (anything that looks like a smile is just gas).  She cries, eats, poops and sleeps.  The only thing she can do is look at you.  Sure, that melts your heart, but you know there’s nothing behind it.  Especially once you realize that simply picking her up and being close to her doesn’t make a difference to her screaming ways.  On the other hand, you know it’s not personal.  

Talk to me two months from now and I’ll probably feel differently.  She’ll be making noises and laughing at my silly faces and playing with toys and reading novels.  I’m sure I’ll tell you that it’s the best thing in the world, but right now all I can tell you is that it’s really hard.  Really, really hard.

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3 comments:

  1. My kids are 5 and 3 years old, and some days I don't know if I would recommend having children to others! However, when my children are screaming "I love you, Daddy!!" as I got into my car today, I realize that it is all very much worth the effort. Please have Dee talk to Katie! She has a ton of great advice for new mommies.

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  2. God I have been there Jeff. The first 6 weeks are the dirty little secret no one talks about to expecting parents and you won't understand until you have the baby what tired and delusional really is. They're little lumps who give nothing back until about 2 months old but they put the parents through bootcamp first. Unless you have had a difficult baby it is hard to understand why a parent would feel so disconnected and desperate. I UNDERSTAND!!! Just get through the first 3 months. I'm not telling you to enjoy it. JUST GET THROUGH IT. Anyway you can. Leave Scarlett with a baby-sitter and get out of baby jail. It's the only way to keep both of your sanity. I would love to be a shoulder to you guys. Let me know.

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  3. Echoing what Heather said. With a difficult baby, it's all about survival. Honestly, one day at a time is the best way to go. I can't really remember much of the first couple of months. I just remember feeling emotionally and physically drained and tired, at all times.

    But, the first time you get that smile, a legitimate smile, or maybe a little giggle it will all be worth it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, things will get better. Hang in there, we are pulling for you.

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