One. Whole. Month.
I’ve been a mama for one, whole, entire dang month. The fastest and somehow the slowest month of my entire life. Newborn mama life is no joke, this babe requires a lot of attention (duh) and this mama is at her beck and call 24/7. It is rewarding and exhausting, but also everything in between ❤️.
Overall, Wrenley is an easy and calm baby. She cries if she’s hungry, overly tired or if she wakes up from a nap and realizes mama isn’t right there. Lately she has been getting some nasty bouts of painful gas, which is probably harder for me than her! She will shriek and make herself stiff as a board and let out a blood curdling screeeeaaaammm. Once she gets out a few toots (or a turd), she passes right out- but if those toots don’t pass, she will be like this for a few hours. The best way to describe it is torturous.
This Monday (9/9) was by far the toughest day I’ve had since we brought her home from the hospital. It was also conveniently the same day that Nick left for his first out-of-town work trip since Wren was born. Sunday night/Monday morning I was up with Wrenley nearly the entire night, I maybe got about 45-minutes of sleep, and that’s a generous estimate. Being the awesome partner that I am, I let Nick sleep because he had to catch a 7am flight. He usually takes at least one night feeding and/or will relieve me if she has been fussy for longer than normal. When he left at 4am I kissed him goodbye with tears in my eyes, I was so exhausted. I could tell it was hard for him to leave as he looked nervous for what the day may hold after our long night. He did his best to reassure me that I was doing a great job while he refilled my water and stocked my snack bin next to our nursing chair.
The morning brought a lot of the same, she would ravenously nurse and rip her head away from my nipple violently every time she got a gas pain. This was toe curlingly painful even with my glorious nipple shield! Girl has a jaw like a starving shark 😭.
Wrenley would fall asleep for about 15-minutes after each forceful toot, then wake back up screaming again shortly after. We tried everything under the sun, tummy massage, bicycle kicks, warm bath, gripe water, laying and snuggling upright, endless burping, ect. At one point the dogs were even looking at me with pitty and annoyance like “will you fix this already?” Eventually Tuna put himself in his kennel for comfort and Dottie disappeared downstairs to avoid hearing the endless shrieks. Resourceful dogs, I must say.
Around 10am I called the pediatrician to see if they had any other recommendations. I told myself I would keep my composure because I’m not a crybaby and didn’t want to sound like a over emotional first-time mom. The second the nurse asked me “What’s going on with Wrenley?” I broke down into sobs as I told her she’s been up for an eternity and was in a lot of pain due to gas. She reviewed some additional things that I could do to help her, including taking a warm cotton ball and rubbing it on her butthole to help “open her up” to relieve some gas. I couldn’t help but chuckle alittle at that one, but heck- I’ll try whatever I need to! She also told me about another over the counter oral supplement I could try called Mylicon drops which I could get at Target. She let me know that infant gas is 100% normal and can be very uncomfortable for babies as their guts are still growing but assured me gas alone will not hurt them. I told her Wrenley hasn’t pooped in nearly 48-hours, at which point she said breastfeed babies can go 7-10 days without pooping. Ah, What? She let me know I could come into the clinic to get her checked out or I could try some of the additional recommendations she provided. I opted to try some more techniques at home.
I tried about 13 times to get myself dressed to go to Target to pickup those drops, but Wrenley wasn’t having any of it- she wanted to be held and comforted, so that’s what I did, for hours..and hours..and hours.
Finally, around 1pm she pooped, not just alittle, but like 3 diapers worth- no wonder she was so uncomfortable! She passed out immediately after since she was so overly tired by this point. I weighed my options- take a shower/brush my teeth (I didn’t even have time to do that yet) and run to target or take a much needed nap while she was sleeping. I opted for the nap, that was more critical to my wellbeing, so I took a 3-hour glorious nap while she slept soundly in her bassinette.
When we woke up, I looked like a train wreck, I had swollen eyes, I was starving, and my hair looked like where rats go to nest. I figured I’d do the target drive up instead of going inside to get the gas drops. I attempted to order them online and of course, target was out of them, damnit. Thank goodness for good ol’ Amazon who guaranteed delivery following day, I couldn’t be seen in public like this. I really hoped that we’d have a better night then last without the gas drops.
I had contemplated calling one of my neighbors who I’d met since we moved in, they had all told me that if I ever needed anything, I could call them. I really needed a shower, like a lonnnnggggggg hot shower to wash off the stress of the day. Ultimately, I decided not call them and roll the dice to see what the rest of the night would bring. Luckily, it was 95% better and I was even able to take a bath with her next to me in her swing…and she was calm! Halleluiah!
That night I got a long 4-hour stretch of sleep followed by her waking ever 2 hours which is our normal. That morning we resumed our normal “routine” and she took her usual nap from 8:30-10:30am, and I was able to take a 30-minute uninterrupted shower. While showering, I shut the water off at least 3x to see if I heard crying, which I swear I did, but there was nothing each time, she was out like a light.
That afternoon my grandma Opal came to spend the night and keep me company, Wrenley was a different baby than the day before. Since then she has been much happier and easier to calm than she was on Monday-THANK GOD!
There are a few things I’ve learned about motherhood over the last month..
1) Things usually do not go as planned. I am very type-A and like to keep a schedule and be on time, this is just not possible with a newborn.
2) My house will never be clean and tidy,the way it once was, again.
3) Sitting down and eating a nice relaxing meal (or making a nice meal) has a very different meaning while juggling a baby.
4) Always double check my shirt before leaving the house to make sure there are no (big) poop or milk stains visible…little ones are perfectly acceptable.
5) Breastfeeding is all consuming, hard as hell and takes a huge chunk of my day, it is what it is. There will be milk alllll over everything.
6) They weren’t kidding, it’s much harder to get out of the house than pre-baby. All the things to bring and to plan- like should I feed her quick before we leave, what about a diaper change?
7) Baby-wearing is life.
8) Single moms (or single dads) are amazing. Period.
9) I must accept all the help/meals/visits/offers I am given, because, why not?
10) I will always put this little human first… If I need to pee but she’s finally sleeping on me…I’ll pee my pants before waking her up from her peaceful sleep (JK, but kinda serious) … If I’m starving to death but she’s nursing/sleeping/fussy and my snack stash is out- I’ll wait or eat my left arm first before I wake her.
11) My husband is amazing, his participation in this has been everything and I hate that he has to travel for work. I wish he had milk boobs.
12) Having a newborn is HARD work and not always glamourous. It doesn’t matter how they got into the world or how prepared we thought we were. The newborn struggle is all the same and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I’m happy to say the since the nightmare that was Monday has passed, Wren is back to her more chill demeanor. We are more prepared with all the tools when the gassiness restarts. I’m not naïve to think there won’t be more days like this, but at least I feel like I can handle them maybe alittle better than I did on Monday.
Today Wrenley and I started a “new mom and baby” class through Amma Parenting, this is a class for new moms that meets once a week at a center and once per week outside in the community. We are excited to get to know these other new moms and babies and are already looking forward to our next meeting, which will take place at Omni Brewing…. I can totally be onboard with this 😊.