I was a wreck at the beginning of week 2. I remember the first day so vividly.
I just came off of another sleepless night and it was my first all nighter by myself. Mikey had work the next day, so I wanted to let him sleep. We were also trying this new thing where we all slept in the living room because it was difficult for me to get on and off our bed. It was a disaster.
It was 5 AM and I had been up since 1:30 AM. Mikey’s alarm clock had gone off and I was desperate for someone to talk to (and for some sleep). But I knew that he would have to start getting ready to leave soon.
I was holding a crying Squishy in my arms, walking around our house like a mad woman, trying to calm him down, when Mikey found me. He was dressed and ready to go to work. I put Squishy down on our bed and I hugged him goodbye. And then I started sobbing. I was so scared of being alone. I didn’t know if I could do it. I tried lying to Mikey and I told him that I was okay. Of course it didn’t work. I was clearly having a breakdown of sorts.
I reassured him that it was okay to go because my Mom would be coming to help out soon. (My Mom was coming, but she doesn’t know how to help with the baby. So she mostly cleans and cooks.)
When Mikey left and I was alone with Squishy, I picked him up again and I continued to sob. I talked to him and gave us (me) a pep talk: “we’ll be alright, won’t we Squish? We can do this? Right?” Then I proceeded to beg in between sobs: “Momma really needs to sleep. Can you please give me 30 minutes? Please?” Miraculously, when I put him down on our bed, he laid there with his eyes wide open and just stared at me. I laid down next to him and closed my eyes. When I opened them again, it felt like I got a 30 minute nap (it could’ve been 5 minutes for all I know) and Squishy was just there, cooing contently next to me.
When my Mom arrived, I had to pretend that everything was okay. And it was actually easier during the day because Squishy slept for longer stretches, so I would sleep with him. But because I was a mess when he left, Mikey decided to leave work early. When he told me this through text, I sobbed again.
Basically, Week 2 was the peak of my baby blues. I was crying a lot in the hospital. I was emotional over every setback. But Mikey leaving for work really stressed me out (that, and the post Surgery pain plus sleep deprivation).
It was so bad that one afternoon, I was looking at Squishy and for some reason, I thought of the scene in Dumbo where the Mommy elephant lashes out in the circus because the clowns and audience made fun of Dumbo’s ears. She eventually gets tied up and thrown in a jail-cage. Dumbo finally finds her and she can only reach him with her trunk through a barred window. She carries him on her trunk and sways him while the song ‘Baby Mine’ plays in the background. I looked at Squishy as the scene played in my head and I started sobbing! I thought: I totally get the mommy elephant now! I would do the same thing!
When Mikey got home from work, I wanted to tell him all about it in a light-hearted-ha-ha-your-wife-is-so-hormonal manner. But Mikey has never seen Dumbo, so I had to describe the scene to him in detail. As I was describing it, I kid you not, I start sobbing again! I tried to control it but I couldn’t! Mikey just stared at me in disbelief. I was trying to poke fun at myself but my hormones decided to make a repeat performance.
To make matters worse, later that week, I played a YouTube video of ‘Baby Mine’ to try to help calm Squishy down (I had been singing it to him all week), but when I found one with the same Dumbo scene, I watched it and started sobbing again. Mikey thought that something was seriously wrong when he found me sobbing in bed, holding Squishy in one arm and my phone on my other hand. I explained that I accidentally watched the Dumbo scene again. He didn’t even try to hide his laughter that last time.
Week 2 was capped off with my first postpartum visit to my doctor and Squishy’s first visit to his pediatrician.
I must have looked horrible (or maybe my nurses reported back that I was weepy a lot during our hospital stay) because my Doctor took some time to explain baby blues to us and even shared her own personal experiences with it. After talking to her about it, I felt a million times better.
During our pediatrician’s visit, we learned that Squishy gained weight! He was 8.15 pounds! He was born at 7.6 pounds, but by the time we left the hospital, he was only 6.9 pounds (apparently, it’s normal for babies to lose 10% of their weight during their first two weeks). He gained 1.25 pounds in 6 days! The Doctor was pleasantly surprised because she expected him to lose more weight! It meant that the breastfeeding was going well. On top of that, his jaundice was in control and we didn’t need to sunbathe him anymore (this was a pain because there was very little morning light in our apartment).
So, while we had a rough start for week 2, I suddenly felt like it was all worth it because Squishy was doing great. ❤️
Afterthoughts: This whole experience has made want to lobby for the extension of paternity leave. 7 days really isn’t enough. I’m fortunate to have a husband who makes an effort when he gets home from work and devotes his time to us on the weekends. But I would totally understand fathers who are too tired from the daily grind (especially with our traffic situation) to actively engage and form a bond with a fussy newborn.