Postpartum dispatch #3

With my first baby, I learned that the first three months are the hardest.  I also learned that it gets worse before it gets better: newborn fussiness peaks around six weeks and slowly drops off from there.  This time around, the roughest parts for me were the seventh and eighth weeks, because we’d hit that peak and it seemed like things should have been improving but they weren’t.

We made it through.  Things did start to improve, slowly and erratically but noticeably.  Younger Brother dropped to two night feedings, then one.  His naps are still all over the place, but that’s less awful now that I’m not as desperate for naps myself.  He’s a sociable happy bean when he’s awake, cooing continuously in his delightful baby voice.  He “talks” to me, to the mirror, to the ceiling fan, to the toys on his chair.

I enjoy spending time with him—and with his brother, although three-year-olds require an entirely different sort of energy—and I enjoy having time to think by myself again, too.  There’s still a sort of underlying panic in my mind about all the things I need to do, but I can ignore that feeling much of the time.  At this point, I figure my priority is to get us all through Christmas, and then I can step up the job searching and other activities in the new year.

3 thoughts on “Postpartum dispatch #3

  1. Are you doing better with #2 than with #1? I’ve been thinking about you. Despite my life difficulties (my mom passed away this summer, and I moved to a new apartment), I’m generally doing better, but I also know what to watch out for and that things will get better.

    I find the mid-range harder for me . . . the 4 months to a year, I suppose. I remember the fog lifting around a year with my first (once I sleep trained). This time, the first 3.5 months went well until I went back to work, even though my mom died, because I really prioritized getting sleep. I asked for and got a lot of help, so I took a lot of naps during the day.

    My dude has been struggling some with sleep, so recently has been tough between the darkness and frequent waking. I’m trying to sleep train, but the piteous wails at 8 months are a bit much for me still. Will continue slowly edging into it and working on sleep.

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    • I think it didn’t help that my dude started sleeping through the night early (like, 6 weeks old early) but then decided he missed me when I went back to work. He hasn’t slept through the night more than once or twice since 3.5 months. I really miss that. His solid sleeping helped tons those first few months.

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    • I’ve had some tough moments, but #2 has been much easier overall, for many reasons. (Maybe I’ll write them up in a post someday.) This baby has a notably more relaxed personality than his brother, which helps a lot. I’ve also had better psychiatric support from the beginning, and I recognized that I was struggling around 6ish weeks and started attending a local postpartum support group.

      Sleep is such a huge factor. We sleep trained this little guy when he stopped falling asleep to nursing or rocking, around 3 months. He took to it really well; he’s pretty chill. I’m gearing up for a rough night tonight, though, because we’re dropping the swaddle. (He’s learned to roll back-to-front.)

      My three-year-old has been the sleep troublemaker lately. We mostly resolved his fear of the dark by leaving the door open, but then we had to work on keeping him in his room and not inventing new reasons for us to come back (e.g., he’ll pull off his socks, then cry for us to put them back on). He’s getting better. I think adjusting to the new baby was probably a factor.

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