The following is a journal entry from five years ago, when Peanut was almost 3-months-old. Wow, what a life-altering season that was. It was a season of smashing one sandcastle after another. Yet, looking back, I wouldn’t trade any moment of it. The challenges at the beginning taught me so much, and they were necessary components of molding me into the mother I am today.
This was written on March 25, 2008.
Lord, I can’t even begin to thank You for Your goodness. What a roller-coaster ride it has been since January 9th. I feel like I had one kind of life up to January 9th, and a whole different life started on that day. It truly did for my daughter Alisa. My daughter. I still can’t grasp that concept fully. I am a mother…what I dreamed of becoming for as long as I can remember.
I thank You, Lord, that I had a healthy pregnancy with no complications. Thank You even more for such a fast and uncomplicated delivery. But Lord, was I in for a surprise after Alisa arrived! I was concentrating so much on the pregnancy, and I guess I didn’t give much thought to what life will be like after she’s here. I expected myself to be in a state of unending bliss…because my dream was finally coming true.
The first month was the toughest. We had breastfeeding issues, my hormones were all over the place, I was extremely tired and sometimes cranky from lack of sleep, Alisa was fussy and crying all the time, and I was completely overwhelmed. There was SO much work involved, and I felt like there was not much reward…because the baby always seemed unhappy. My mind was constantly going in all different directions – wondering if I’m doing things right or what else I could be doing. I needed to get some rest, but whenever I had (rare) free time I always wanted to jump on the internet, read some materials, or call someone for advice. It was physically, mentally, and emotionally VERY exhausting. It was NOTHING like what I had imagined it would be.
One of the important lessons I learned during that first month was to relax…and to take it one day at a time. I didn’t have to do EVERYTHING right. One parenting mistake was not going to break or make her entire life. It helped to hear another mom say that babies are way more resilient than we think. I also learned the importance of not trying to tackle so many things at once, but to concentrate on one goal at a time. I really needed to concentrate on just the feeding goal at first…and not worry about other goals until later (i.e. napping schedule, awake time, etc.).
The second month was a little better, because the feeding issue was pretty much resolved. However, I still had a very fussy baby in my hands. All the visitors were gone, and when Allan was at work it was just her and me. Some days it seemed like all she would do was cry. I was surprised to find out how little “free time” I had staying home all day with her. I missed my social interactions. I was pretty much tied down to the house. I was improving physically and mentally (not stressing out as much about every detail of what I should do), but emotionally I was still exhausted from being with an unhappy baby all the time. It made me sad that I couldn’t make my baby happy.
Now we’re into the third month, and things are continuing to improve…a lot. I decided to be a little more intentional about establishing a good routine for her (especially her naps). We have good days and bad days. She does great with her feedings, and she’s definitely content longer during her awake time. We are seeing some smiles, and that’s always a good feeling…to see her happy and exploring life. She is doing great sleeping through the night (8 hrs!). The most important thing is that she’s healthy and on track with everything, as far as the doctors can tell.
Thank you, Lord, for carrying us through this far…and I know that You will continue to guide our every step. I really can’t thank You enough for this precious gift You have blessed us with. As I was watching one of the DVDs of a parenting curriculum, I received an important reminder. Before turning to the internet, a parenting book, or even a trusted friend for advice, I really need to seek You first for answers. You know her better than I ever will. She is a gift from You, and You have entrusted us to care for her…but ultimately she is first and foremost Your child, Your daughter. She belongs to You, not us. Please continue to watch over every stage of her development…and lead her in the path You have prepared for her. Thank you for this precious life; I don’t ever want to take it for granted. Help us to demonstrate Your love to her the best we can. We are constantly in need of Your help and Your guidance. And when we mess up, help us to learn from it and move on.
Thank You, thank You, thank You.