|The first pic I took of him in the hospital. I tried to be super objective and determined he was pretty adorable!|
I had been prepared for some baby blues. I think everyone has that to some degree as their hormones try to regulate themselves. I was even prepared for it to go a little further than that. But I was not prepared to hate my son for about the first 6 weeks of his life. I did not expect to tell him I hated him. That I wished I wasn't his Mom, or anyone's Mom for that matter. It wasn't a constant thing, but it was a pretty consistent thing. And I did realize how angry I felt towards him was directly related to how much sleep I was getting, but knowing that doesn't make more sleeping hours appear in the day. We described those early weeks as taking on the worst babysitting job ever. And the parents refuse to come home and they're not paying us either. We said it as a joke, but for me it was the only way to let on how unhappy I was with my new title of "mom" without horrifying people.
Nobody wants to hear the bad stuff. They just want to see the cute baby that is so itty bitty and precious. And after a certain amount of time most people block out the horrible memories and magically you can't find anyone who has ever had a cranky, grumpy baby that is terrible at breastfeeding for weeks. Thank God (literally--he put these people in my life to get me through) I had a few good friends who could be honest about how horrible the first 10-12 weeks really are. And, now that we're at 14 weeks I finally know and feel without a doubt that I love my son more than any other thing on the planet (sorry Princess Vivienne). I would do anything for him, to protect him, to make him happy. And I am so thankful that he is mine.
I'm now overwhelmed with how much I love him. It hits me randomly and I look at him and just can't believe God chose ME to be his Mom. I still feel an enormous amount of guilt for how I felt towards him at the beginning, even though I know he didn't realize it or care. And even though I know it's normal and okay to have a rough time at the start. I'll forgive myself eventually I'm sure.
I decided I needed to start writing again because of my most special moment with Archer to date, which happened while I was feeding him before bed earlier this week. I realized I didn't want to ever forget that moment, and how completely happy I was to be so certain of my love for him. And when I think of how many things haven't been documented over the past year and a half--our pre-baby cruise, my entire pregnancy to name a few--I just can't believe I ever stopped writing.
Over the past week or so Archer has started looking up at me while he eats. It's when he's being calm (and not hitting me in the face or pulling my hair, both of which have become normal) and he makes direct, sustained eye contact with me. At first I wavered between thinking it was creepy and sweet. Especially the first time I looked down and saw him staring unblinkingly right back. Now I just love it. On Monday evening I looked down and smiled at him and I saw the wheels turning behind his big blue eyes. And then after a second he gave me a HUGE grin right back, boob still in his mouth. It was so joyful and wonderful and funny I smiled even bigger. So he smiled even bigger. Which made me start laughing. Which made him giggle. Which made me laugh REALLY hard, which jostled him and made him giggle again. I have not been that happy, laughed that hard, or felt that much love in almost 4 months. It was the most amazing moment with him to date and made up for every terrible thing he put me through as a newborn. And we just kept going, back and forth. And I finally had to tell my sweet little boy that he HAD to focus on eating and we had to calm down or he would never get to sleep.
|A glimpse of that little grin.|
Of course by the time Brian made it upstairs to see what was so funny my laughter had turned to tears at being so overwhelmed by how much I love Archer. And I was so overcome I could barely explain why I had been laughing in the first place. Ah, hormones.
On a related note, I have never been more thankful for sticking with breastfeeding through the excruciating pain. I just knew that it was something wrong with the latch, and if given the proper instruction and a chance to heal from the early damage he did, things would be okay and we could do it. I am SO happy my instincts were correct and we got everything sorted out at about 5 weeks. Quitting is generally not an option to me for most things in life, and it wasn't for this either. Feeding Archer has become one of my most favorite ways to bond with him and I look forward to 6pm all day long! In fact, I felt extremely sad when he started sleeping longer stretches this week because I realized that at some point very soon we'll drop the middle of the night feeding. I am going to miss that opportunity to snuggle and feed my little man, even if it was in the middle of the night. And believe me, I never thought those words would come out of my mouth.
|Sweet little boy. 3 months. We made it!!|