So this is what it feels like

05/17/2011 at 10:10 am | Posted in Motherhood, PPD | 30 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

Today is my first day home alone with the baby, and I’m not scared.

This is a big deal.

When Marc went back to work after Lily was born, my downward spiral accelerated. I didn’t want to be alone with her. She was so fragile and tiny and needy. I didn’t believe I was capable of taking care of her by myself.

I remember crying to my mother that I just wanted to wash a dish. To feel normal.

Not this time.

Of course, it helps that Sophie is one mellow babe. She cries only when she’s hungry (which is often) or poops her diaper (which also is often). She is consolable. She sleeps. She sits in the bouncy seat by herself, content.

These things never happened with Lily. She cried non-stop. Around the clock. For any number of reasons we simply couldn’t figure out.

I quit dairy, then stopped breastfeeding altogether. We tried 500 different kinds of formula, bottles, nipples. The doctor put her on reflux medication. And she never wanted to be put down.

To this day, I still don’t understand why she cried so much. But my instinct tells me (three years later) that she was hungry. My depression and anxiety, I’m convinced, compromised my milk supply. And this devastates me. I do still feel like I failed Lily in those first few months of her life. But I also believe that she has benefited — and thrived — from our undivided attention for the first three years of her life. She is healthy, happy and smart. She knows love.

I need to keep remembering these things as waves of guilt wash over me this time around.

By comparison, Sophie is easy. I never understood how new moms could find time to brush their hair or fix a meal. Push a weeks-old baby in a stroller. Check their email.

Until now.

And, believe me, I am taking not one second of this experience for granted. I am trying to relish each moment with Sophie. Moments that escaped me when Lily was so little. And I’m also trying to love on my big girl more than ever.

I can’t erase the dark memories of my paralyzing fear during Lily’s first few weeks of life, but I can focus on that which I know to be true: I am blessed to be mother to an amazing three-year-old. I am blessed to be given another shot at actually enjoying the newborn experience.

I am blessed. Period.



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  1. I am SO incredibly happy for you! Enjoy your little one. I want to come by to meet her and bring ya’ll dinner. Maybe next week?

    • Thanks, Erin! I’d love a visit!! We’ll be around next week … let me know when you’d like to come by. Can’t wait to meet Miss E!

  2. This post makes me cry! I’m SO SO happy for you (and can’t wait to see you).

    • Thanks, friend! Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  3. Beautiful. This time around I got medical help and my baby was much more chill and it’s amazing the joy I was able to experience. Warm fuzzies even πŸ™‚ Congrats to you!

    • Thanks, Paige. Sounds like we have a lot in common. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait til this one is old enough for play dates!

  4. I am so proud of you. That’s what I thought all through reading this post. Then I thought, that is an awesome picture of Suzanne!

    • It’s a good thing you can’t see what I’m wearing. There is no such thing as fashion for me right now. πŸ™‚

  5. Congratulations. I always wondered how other mom’s got there house cleaned, dinner made, etc., etc…. then I had my third daughter, who slept all the time and never cried…then I got it!

    • I hear you! Although I don’t think I would have lasted through three kids. πŸ™‚ Props, momma!

  6. Babies totally feed off our energy and it’s so great that you are so confident and calm this time around, probably why Sophie is such a mellow baby. I excited to see how different it will be this time around since I kind of know what to expect but I’m also anxious about taking care of 2 instead of just 1.

    • I couldn’t agree more … I’m so much more relaxed this time around. Can’t help but believe it’s rubbing off on her. πŸ™‚ And a confession: I do have some anxiety about my days with both kids (we kept Lily in her school routine a few days a week). I think we’ll both just learn as we go! Good luck!!

  7. You are such a great mother. I am so happy that things are going well.

    To be honest, I have fear. I was never home alone when Ian was born. Jack was home from the point he was born and then became the stay at home Dad. I don’t know what it is like to be home alone juggling a newborn, the rest of the household duties and now a 4 year old. You give me hope that I can do it.

    • Ann, you are going to be awesome. I really believe that having been through the newborn experience once will help you tremendously. I’m so much more confident this time around — even after nights like last night where it seemed Sophie couldn’t get comfy. Also: I’m here for you! We’re in this together. πŸ™‚

  8. Yay! I am so happy for you πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to meet Sophie. By the way, you look so much like your sis in that photo!

  9. oh, friend. I am so happy to my core for you. You deserve this peace & this second chance to remind the world what an amazing momma you are.

  10. Even without dealing with true PPD, I had a very rough time w/ baby #1 (who always wanted to be held and never slept and totally wrecked my existence — but turned out to be beautiful) and a much easier time w/ baby #2 (who is getting me back now with the terrible 2s and 3s, but was a very easy baby). So glad that you’re getting an easier time and that you’re cherishing the moments — they go much faster with baby #2!

  11. so happy for you! enjoy, relish, bask in it all!

  12. You totally deserve this! A completely different experience on a familiar path. A beautiful opportunity. Two beautiful girls. Keep injoying it all ❀

  13. I am so happy Sophie is giving you a chance to enjoy the easy-baby. I got the same thing with Caroline and it has made me love motherhood even more than before. You’re both beautiful!

  14. YAY, oh my gosh, I totally missed it! Congratulations on your new perfect little baby girl.

    You’re gonna rock this. Just remember to breathe and move forward. The past is the PAST, my friend. This is a new beginning!

  15. Lily and Sophie are truly the luckiest babes this side (and the other side!) of the Mississippi. You rock Sis!

  16. Congratulations! What an awesome post. So glad this is going so well for you. Try not to feel bad~ Lily is happy & healthy & has parents that love her. Plus a sister to adore! Can’t ask for more.
    When you’re feeling like venturing out, let me know. I’d love to meet up for lunch or anything!

  17. Thanks for sharing great news. Say bye bye to any guilt…babies do cry, but we are never quite sure why. Lilly is so well cared for and happy. Enjoy being mommy to both.
    (Lila’s Babba;-)

  18. You so deserve this. I am so happy for you.

  19. I’m so happy for you. And not just because your baby has a poop alarm (mine was content sitting in it so I checked it every 15 minutes). :o) Life is good and your a great mother. It’s just not always in our control how a new baby experience will turn out (please remind me of this come October when I’m feeling the stress and guilt). Enjoy your snuggly sweet girls!

  20. so happy for you!!! can’t wait to meet sophie and see you all!!! sending lots of love πŸ™‚

  21. Yay! Glad to hear you’re doing so well. I like your photo too. You look a lot like your sister in this picture. I think Sophie looks like you and your mom. πŸ™‚

  22. I’m so happy that the second time around didn’t mirror the first.
    This has been a huge reason that I fear having another one, but you’ve given me hope.
    She’s beautiful, they both are.

  23. […] very day I sent this post out into the universe, a string of bad nights settled upon us. A not-so-gentle reminder that this […]

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