Kara at 15 weeks
Tomorrow, Kara will be 15 weeks old. For those who — like me — always thought that stating a baby's age in weeks over-complicates things, that's 3-1/2 months. Now I realize why a baby's age is stated so specifically. One week can make all the difference between a baby who does or doesn't have colic, or a urinary tract infection, is high needs, or experiences The (dreaded) Witching Hour. True to the "symptoms" of The Witching Hour (which will forever be capitalized whenever I refer to it), Kara's still overly-fussy in the evenings, but having late-evening walks with her calms her down immensely.
On a related note, thank God for the man who developed the Baby Björn carrier.
I've had quite a few friends and family members say that I seem to have adjusted to motherhood with aplomb and I wish I could say that I agree with them. The fact is that I experienced what was probably low-grade post-partum depression, a truth which I wanted to make clear, in the hopes of taking away some small part of the stigma attached to it. As I've discussed with Roy (thanks for being "my rock" yet again, babe!), I think the only thing that saved me from experiencing severe PPD is the fact that I was able to remain fairly objective about everything I was thinking and feeling. That isn't to say that I didn't have days in which I honestly hated my life, but I was able to operate under the belief that — if I could just get through another day, or week, or month — that things would have to improve.
Matt, for his part, has done a fantastic job of being supportive by taking on all kinds of tasks and chores around the house in lieu of me feeling I have time to do any of it myself, taking Kara off my hands when I need him to and — most importantly — being positive when I couldn't be. I'd also like to send big, appreciative shout-outs to Caty, who's been an awesome aunt and a damn great kid sister; to Miriam who has made time for us when she could; to Stacy and to Lisa for sharing their experiences as first- and second-time moms with me; to Emma for having a kid concurrently and therefore being able to spend time hanging out with me and talking about all the previously-lame-o Things Moms Talk About; and to Laura and Andrew for offering to be around whenever I need it.
Thanks also to everyone who's emailed to see how things are going. Just having the odd bits of adult interaction when you spend all day trying to think of things to say/sing to/do with a baby is a Godsend.
I can't say that my life has returned to the normal I experienced before Kara was born, I honestly don't think it ever will. When I think about it, I realize that that life wasn't really all that great, any way. What I can say is that every week brings with it a new set of rewards (like Kara practicing her laugh!) and a clearer path towards the new day-to-day, or week-to-week, or month-to-month life that my family and I are going to have.
So, here's to good friends, good family and a good life.
P.S. A little tidbit of information I didn't know before having a baby: babies don't know how to fall asleep on their own. They have to be "helped" to sleep until they can learn to do it for themselves. I really wish someone had told me that before I gave birth.