I have been debating as to whether or not I should write this post, as it shows a darker side of motherhood that is neither happy or quite sane.  However, I feel that it would be unfair for me to depict motherhood as puppies and rainbows all the time, when that is not the case.  It would be unfair to my readers who are not yet mothers to not know the truth, the whole (sometimes ugly) truth, about what goes on in a mother's mind.  So, here I go... don't judge me.

Being a new mom to an infant is sometimes extraordinarily frustrating.  My baby is calm, quiet and content for the entire day... until... the bewitching hour.  The "bewitching hour" is a time of day that every baby decides to be fussy... uncontrollably and inconsolably fussy.  You feed your baby and yet he/she is still exhibiting hunger signs.  You try to offer the paci, but your baby just spits it out in a fury.  You try rocking, shushing, back patting, and everything else you've ever read about, but nothing works.  This is just HIS TIME to be unconsolable.

For Marco, this time occurred everyday for about 3 months at 6 o'clock in the evening.  Poor Mauricio would come home from work and Marco would scream in his face for a full hour or more.  He took it personally... "my baby doesn't like me".  I understood that it was just his bewitching hour and that it would soon pass.  At 6 in the evening, I was cool and calm... BUT ask me how I was at 3 am?  CRAZY!  If he'd begin to be inconsolable in the middle of the night, I'd begin to feel helpless and desperate.

Jonas' bewitching hour(s) usually begins around 10pm and lasts till after midnight.  This is extremely frustrating to us because we WANT TO SLEEP!  It's like he decides that he's going to be awake at the exact moment that we want to go to bed.  He had his chance to be awake all day, but nooooooo.

Every new mother can expect to be tired, but do not be fooled... real exhaustion sets in about week 3.  After about 3 weeks of minimal sleep, your mind begins to lose it.  In fact, I've heard (but I'm too lazy to look it up to verify it's validity) that in war, sleep deprivation is a form of torture.  However, there are war laws against the amount of time a person is limited in sleep.  I believe that they must allow a minimum of 3-4 hours uninterrupted sleep, or else it is considered a war crime.  If this is true, then our babies are LITERALLY torturing us!  I have not slept more than 3 hours at a time in 6 weeks.

Sleep deprivation does some crazy things to our minds, and we must remain aware of the situation and rely on the support of our husbands, or it'll be easy to snap.  When a baby is crying uncontrollably and nothing seems to work, I can EASILY see how a slightly less sane person would snap and do something drastic, like shake their baby.  At one of my most desperate moments, I remember standing in the kitchen with Marco at 4 am, both of us crying, and for a split second I had a crazy thought that scared the CRAP out of me... maybe if I put Marco in the freezer for a few minutes, he'll stop crying.  WHAT?!?!  Then the guilt that comes after thinking such a horrible and morbid thing just eats you up.  What kind of a mother am I?  Now I know... a tired one.

This time around, my skin is a little thicker.  Jonas' cries don't get to me the same way Marco's did.  I can ignore it a little easier.  I wont lie though, there have been moments where I want to put my hand over his face.  Thankfully, I have an amazing husband there with me 100% of the way and TOGETHER we keep it sane.

For those of you new mommies or soon-to-be moms who follow my blog, a piece of advice.  Be VERY aware of what's going on in your mind and emotions.  When you feel loopy, get help!  You can not do it ALL by yourself and it's ok to force your husband out of bed (even if he has to work in the morning).  When you need to sleep, wake up your husband and have him give the baby a bottle.  You are still a super mom, even if you need help every once in a while.

This book helped me learn how to soothe my babies and gave me a little extra amo during the first 3 months... I highly recommend it.


Nana Mary said...

Oh Nicole, no judgment here my dear. Times are tough when you don't get your rest and then to add a baby crying and you can't help them stop, that is excruciating. Thank you for being transparent and then offering your advice on how to work it out.
I believe that Erin follows your blog but just in case I will have her check it out. Babies don't come with instruction manuals but with prayer and the advice of those traveling the same journey, you can be a Super Mom, the one God created you to be!
I will be praying for you all as your new little one gets used to day and night and what to do when.
Love, Mary