**This is an old post moved over from my other blog. If you're reading from mobile it shows up as recent.**
I can't believe it's (only) (already) been 3 months since Kal was born. My life has changed significantly, as I knew it would, but it hasn't been nearly as bad as I feared. Life is still good. Life is better in so many ways and worse in almost none. I am amazed. I really thought this whole baby thing would be dreadful, a slog of responsibility and never ending sacrifice that would erase the very fabric of my identity. I can be very dramatic when it comes to worrying.
I spent most of my pregnancy in a state of abject fear. I cried a lot. Kal was an unexpected baby. I never really wanted children. I thought continuing with my pregnancy was the biggest mistake I had ever made, one I would pay for in spades for the rest of my life.
Mostly I didn't know what to expect. I'm an only child with very, very limited exposure to children and absolutely none to newborns. I'd never held a baby.
I was so scared. I read articles on the internet by mothers who were having a very hard time with their new babies. I read how I would never have time to shower and absolutely forget the hour long baths I so cherished. Writing would be out of the question. I wondered how I would be able to lounge on the bed petting my cat and thinking of nothing, or have a glass of wine at night with my husband while we chatted about dreams and our day and movies. Can you hear the drumbeat of free time! free time! free time! The women whose experiences I was reading howled with laughter at the thought of having any. The baby would be screaming not sleeping demanding always all the time.
But I got lucky. Oh boy, did I get lucky. I got an easy child. They exist. I didn't know that. You don't read much about them on the internet, because what is there to say? Kal has cried, I mean really truly baby cried, maybe five times. Once when he was born for a few seconds before they placed him on my chest, the first time we gave him a bath and the water was too cold, once, at night when he was a couple of weeks old, for fun. We gave him a pacifier. He calmed down in ten minutes.
I mean, sure, he's still a baby. The first 6 weeks were stupid with the sleep deprivation, but you can't escape that. And it was only 6 weeks. Then he slept five hours in a row, then 7, then 9. In the past couple of weeks he hasn't gotten up at all in the middle of the night 3 whole times. This will increase. My husband and I figured out a schedule that made sure we could each get a full night's sleep every night, no matter what the baby does.
You don't write internet articles about getting a full night's sleep every night from 6 weeks on. I don't know why, but they're not out there.
When he's awake, he eats and smiles and plays. My goodness does he smile. It's his hobby. Just catch his eye and you get a smile. It's wonderful. He also full body laughs sometimes when you tickle him under his chin. I would crawl across a bed of burning glass shards to get those laughs. They`re better than anything else that exists on this earth.
I'm not saying all of this to brag. The baby isn't like this because of anything I did. He just is.
Of course, he's only 3 months old. There will be many challenges ahead, and a good tempered baby isn't a guarantee for a good tempered toddler, or kid or teen. But in terms of the transition from childless person to mother, it was a skip across a puddle rather than a marathon swim through a stormy ocean. The free time is still there, most days. Not only do I have an easy child, I also have a good support system with my family. My Mother in Law will come over as often as we need her to help with the chores and to take care of the baby so we can relax. My parents, who live farther away, come over as often as they can. They take the baby and don't want to put him down for hours. He is so loved by them. My husband was able to take a couple of months off and though he's back to work now and works long hours, he also works from home. When I'm desperate for a break he's by my side in a second.
Not every single minute has been light-hearted and easy. While free time exists, it used to be all the time, anytime and that lightness is gone. That lightness was beautiful and everything I had known since I moved out of my parents house when I was 17. Independence is a helluva drug, however, and sometimes it wasn't very good for me. I abused it. It had made me lazy and complacent, but it felt good and I do miss it.
But I didn't trade it for nothing. I enjoy motherhood. Some days are a little mundane but that's mostly because it's the middle of winter and Montreal does winter hard. Otherwise I enjoy the challenge and, it feels ridiculous to say but I honestly didn't expect it, I enjoy spending time with my baby. He's actually completely perfect. I didn't know anything in the world could be so wholly without fault as your own baby. What else was challenging was me simply not knowing what to do, or why things were happening, or what to expect. The learning curve was unreal. But that can happen with anything - a new job, moving, new relationships and so on. And I'm human. We're supposed to learn. That's not a negative thing.
The first week was hard, because we were in the hospital for the first 4 out of 5 days of his life. That`s a story for another time.
And then of course the sleep deprivation. That was pretty ridiculous but as I said it was so short lived as to be essentially negligible to the overall experience.
What has been the most trying was the effect the baby had on my relationship with my husband. That was totally unexpected. The dirty details are mostly boring and entirely personal, but we're making it through, learning and improving every day.
Besides that, every thing else has been easier to weather than I could have dreamed. I didn't make a mistake. Having a baby, or having this baby anyway, is a 10/10, would recommend experience. Who knew? Lucky me.