Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Sleep in Brooklyn

They never tell you how hard it is.

Well, OK, they do. It's just that you, hugely pregnant and well-slept and freshly showered, throwing back fried mac and cheese balls like it's your job, don't hear them. Because you have big plans to spend your first few postpartum weeks gazing beatifically down at your clean, glorious newborn as neighbors drop by with myrrh and frankincense and maybe a nice bottle of Sancerre.

And then. Oh, and then.

Then you suddenly wake up on the living room floor at 4 am, wearing mismatched socks, one boob hanging out, manually rocking a bouncy seat as you listen to something called "Ocean Waves," but which you suspect is actually just someone's shitty iPhone recording of an industrial dryer. Your week-old infant is wailing, and you must choose whether to let him cry while you pee or take him with you. A moment later, squatting over the toilet while trying to keep his blankie out of the stream, you begin to seriously question your decision-making skills.

Your new go-to conversation-starter is a state of the union on your nipples. You tell visitors that they look like they got into a bar fight. And you should see the other guy. He had... really hard gums. Ba dum bum. I'll be here all week. No, seriously, all week. On this couch, mouth breathing and having fever dreams about actually falling asleep. No one laughs, and worse, no one offers you wine.

But it's getting easier. I turned on my computer. I typed this blog, albeit one-handed. It's getting easier every day. And this little face makes it totally worth it:



  1. Anonymous8:15 PM

    You can never understand how hard it is until you go through it. You are doing great, Una. Just take care of that sweet boy and yourself. I know that's hard advice to take. You will make it through. Things got significantly better for us around 8 weeks.

  2. I feel ya. I. Feel. Ya. It does get easier, though I won't lie to you and tell you that you'll be sleeping any time soon. That would be a lie.

    The good news is that you do get a baby in return for all of this, and yours is especially cute!

    If you're having a lot of pain or trouble with nursing, try getting a silicone nipple shield. They sell them at Target, and that is the only thing that got me through the first month.

  3. after 3 months you will completely block it out of your memory. but for now, take it one day at a time. you're doing great.

  4. Rebecca J9:33 PM

    I don't have kids so I'll just give you random advice... just kidding! I hope you sleep at some point in the future but until then, know that we in the blogosphere think you are great! And so is the little guy!


  6. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!

  7. It DOES get easier. It takes a while. HOwever, no one tells you. No one. But really, would you listen? Would you want to know? Doubtful.

    Soon your vag will return to normal and you'll come back to a semi-real person. And aren't you so glad of the adorableness? That got my baby to 14 months :)

  8. That is a great-looking little face. The first 2-3 months are tough, but you'll get through it.


    And soon.

    This is coming from someone who had a baby 6 months ago and we had serious struggles with breastfeeding, and I do remember those fever dreams. But by about 6 weeks post-birth things were completely turned around. Hang in there. It's tough and when you're in the throes of it, it seems like you'll never get out. The idea of another (at least) 5 weeks might sound unbearable but you will get through it so quickly.

    Good luck. Enjoy those great new moments with your tiny cuddler.

    Hang in there.

  10. He is gorgeous!!

    And no, they do not tell you how hard it is. Did you have the first trauma poop yet? Mirilax is your friend post-birth. OK, it was mine, but I'll share.

    The one handed typing gets easier. The nipples get tougher.

    The sleep? Uhh...I don't know. My almost 4 yo still sleeps with us, but I get more sleep that way than if I didn't.

    Just adore and love that sweet little baby! It all goes way too fast. Don't worry about screwing it up. You can do it "right" the next time. That's what I keep telling myself. Even though there won't be a next time.

    Don't forget your hormones are still insanely off kilter, so everything seems a little "more" than it did before. Well, it did for me.

    Anyway, just found you. Glad I did!

  11. Welcome to parenthood. It's totally worth it!

  12. I don't think it's possible to grasp how hard it is before you have that baby, but it does get better with time. One day you'll be nursing with one hand, eating a sandwich with the other, checking your email on your phone, and watching Grey's Anatomy, all at the same time, and it will just click. You'll think, "Oh, I can do this." For me (and I'm on my second baby now) it takes about 8 weeks, and then life is just so much better. Hang in there!

  13. oh my gawd...he's adorable!

  14. Oh yes. That memory is as fresh today as it was 26 hrs ago. It does not fade w/time.

  15. I feel obligated to tell you that your baby is simply adorable. This is exciting for me because I don't even like babies. I think I have said that (and not been lying) about 3 times ever. It was a huge relief to not have to lie this time. Good luck with the mothering!

  16. Hang in there - it gets better!! You're doing great and your little boy is adorable! My little man (who has the same name as yours :)) barely slept at first. He was in special care at first and when we got him home he developed colic and terrible reflux so screamed most of the time and never slept for more than an hour or so at a time. Hubby and I just kept saying (over and over again) "it's a good job he's so cute". He's now 8 weeks old and is getting very close to sleeping through the night - if he'd only stop waking up once in the early hours for a cuddle, we'd be on to a winner. Enjoy every minute of him being that small ... before you know it, he will be so much bigger and sleeping through the night. I've been told that the sleepless nights will take on a romantic haze after a while and I will miss them ... no, I don't believe it either!!

  17. Have not read your blog in ages.. but congrats, and keep it up. I appreciate your new motherhood honesty.. no one tells it like it is.

  18. heather7:29 AM

    It was always better for me after getting through the second week. You do get used to the sleep deprivation to some degree, and you and the baby will get into a routine. Congrats! So glad the birth went well, that's a wonderful way to start mom-hood.

  19. Your baby is beautiful. I don't have children so I have absolutely no words of wisdom around that other than... How in the Sam Hill can you still be so funny and write so well when you are so sleep deprived and your nipples are bruised? I think you are doing brilliantly. Em x

  20. I know it's pretty controversial, but co-sleeping changed my life!

  21. As everyone says - it does get better. And this magical thing kicks in and erases all of this torture from your mind so that you will have another one. It might be hormones.

    Sleep is key. (And you are probably thinking, "Well DUH!".) Here's the secret - almost anything you do for your child is ok regardless of the books, the nurses advice, the endless strangers on the internet giving advice. You know what isn't ok. (And taking them with you to pee - totally ok.)

    If you let him have a bottle, he will still breast feed. I promise. So pump a bottle, or if you are in real pain, get some formula. Tell Jeff or whatever wonderful friend is there that you just need 4 hours. Tell them to give him the bottle at hour 2. And GO TO SLEEP.

    Seriously. You'll wake up really happy to have him breast feed, you'll feel awesome, and that face will look even more adorable.

    I didn't co-sleep with my first and was so proud. Then I had the second who refused to sleep without being right next to me and I made a liar out of myself. But it was heaven. And he's in his own bed now and seems pretty well adjusted AFAIW. (haha)

    Rule 1. Do what you need to be happy mommy. Because happy mommy = happy baby. And Happy Mommy + Happy Baby = happy father. Tell Jeff that is true because you heard it on the internet.

    Good luck and hang in there. He's absolutely gorgeous.

  22. Girl, those first few weeks really suck ass. Sorry to hear you didn't get the magic baby that sleeps through the night right out of the shoot. If it makes you feel better, I don't know anyone that got that baby, and I'm pretty sure I would hate whatever lucky ass got that perfect dream baby. Anyway, keep up the good work. And as for one-handed typing - totally been there. Virtual hugs, kisses and a glass of wine to you!

  23. P.S. - He is SO super cute!

  24. ScientistMom had many words of wisdom. Seriously. There are lots of things that are okay when you are a mom:
    1. To wonder why the hell you wanted to do this
    2. To let the baby suck on the boob for hours while you sleep. Nursing in side-lying WILL save your life.
    3. To let people help you. It's really tough to say "yes" when people ask if you need help, but do it. Sanity.
    4. To eat when you can.
    5. To always pick sleep over duties like washing dishes, doing laundry, generally cleaning up, etc.
    6. To have a whole new appreciation for your own mother.
    7. To realize why people without better coping skills shake their babies.
    8. To be glad you have the coping skills not to shake your baby.
    9. To sit and stare at your baby for hours because he is the most beautiful, precious thing you have ever seen.

  25. That little face, Una, my goodness! He is absolutely freaking adorable!

    I don't have kids yet, but from what I know of listening and observing, the above advice is sound. So, ditto previous posters. (-:

  26. It SOOOOOO gets easier, PROMISE!! I hated hearing people tell me that and tell me 'this too shall pass'. I would just roll my eyes and think 'everyone's a damn liar! This isn't going to get easy until she's 10 and able to make her own sandwich!'

    The first few weeks are like a fog and you don't really realize how 'odd' it is until one day you get up, baby's calm, you shower, put on some blush, walk out the door and think 'oh hey, I GOT THIS!'

    He's is beautiful!

  27. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Keep posting the photos. He just keeps getting more beautiful and adorable!

    Amanda from Ireland

  28. Claudia5:30 PM

    I'd like to tell you that it gets easier... It doesn't. But YOU'LL get better! He's a beauty, Una! x

  29. It's an adorable little face!

  30. don't worry as mom's we have this brain thing that makes us forget all the hard stuff when we get a minute of good. it's scientifically proven. the race wouldn't survive without it.

  31. Now that's a great moment you captured...sitting quietly with an awake, content newborn. It's such a pleasure.
    All that talk about sleep deprivation triggers one of my most vivid memories of early motherhood - the first morning you wake up with the sun shining, immediately realize it's been 7 hours since the last feeding, and run to look at the baby because you imagine something must be terribly wrong but find them blissfully asleep. I felt like a million bucks.


    On an unrelated and obviously more important note, Kitschy Living featured the Wine Rack.

  33. Yes, we mommies do become fine multi-taskers. I took my first post-cesarean shit which was the size of a small linebacker while simultaneously nursing my one-week old baby who MUST BE FED because who knew if I could deliver that monstrous shit before she perished of starvation? Eventually the paramedics were called. They had to deliver that defecation with forceps.

  34. Anonymous5:52 PM

    Bless your heart! It really does get better! Hang in there! (He is A-dorable!)

  35. Terresa5:53 PM

    Yep, He's still gorgeous. Hang in there. It sure isn't easy but it's definately worth it.

  36. Anonymous8:27 AM

    That face just made me forget everything I was going to comfort you with.... *sigh*


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