Nine Months: A Reflection Story


Our little baby boy will be 9 months on the 14th of this month! It is the best thing in the world to watch him grow. He is one of the happiest, sweetest, little boys I know and SO full of smiles and fun! As we near that time, I've been looking back over how our life has changed from the 9 months before his arrival, when we looked into the future KNOWING in 9 more months our lives would be drastically different. Nine months to try to get ready for something that nothing in life can EVER prepare you for.

I think I was seriously naive 9 months ago. I look back and I really have a hard time remembering fondly those newborn days. I remember his arrival and the tremendous blessing that God gave that day with our son. I remember the first 3 weeks and the sweetness of his sleeping on our chests. I remember thinking he was so tiny and small and just gazing with amazement at this little tiny human being that was a combination of both of us knitted together by God's hand.

But then, it all changed. And I really really have a hard time remembering WHEN and WHY it changed and am not really sure what happened or when it exactly stopped being crazy. Hart tells me that I only remember the bad stuff, because I was so sleep deprived that it was hard for me to focus on the good stuff. And sometimes I regret that, and wish I could go back and do it again. If God gives a next time, I won't be so consumed with perfection.

It's been hard for me reflecting on those newborn days, because sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that had a difficult time, even though I'm sure it's not true. It seems, though, as if ALL of my friends that have had babies within the last year have had dream babies. Their children literally come home from the hospital sleeping 4 to 4.5 hours at night. And by 6 - 8 weeks they are doing 8 hour stretches and are sleeping through the night rather well.

Um, that was NOT our experience.

It was hard at times, because, as many of you know, my sister-in-law and I had babies exactly 2 weeks apart. I remember at 12 weeks, my son was still waking up at least 2 - 3 times a night, and her baby had been sleeping at least 12 hours for around 6 weeks already. It seemed as if everywhere I looked babies were doing "better" in that area than mine, and because I was so exhausted, it was blown out of proportion and I couldn't think about it sanely. I couldn't stop comparing. It made me go deeper into postpartum depression and at times I even felt suicidal.

I actually went to the doctor and considered giving up nursing my baby, because I felt like I needed anti-depressants. I remember lying in our bed sobbing, and Hart put his hand on my head and poured out prayer over me. I had thought numerous times that I couldn't even care for my own baby and he would be better off without me. Satan had a serious hold on me. I was being bombarded with suicidal thoughts. As I laid there, Hart's prayers flooded over me. Light poured in. It was quiet. Jesus was there. They were gone and I was wrapped in peace.

That's when everything changed again. Honestly, everything got better again. My baby still wasn't sleeping through the night, but it was okay. I stopped comparing and I just focused on what I needed to be doing for my son. I started being his mama.

Exactly 3 weeks later, my son started STTN 12 hours a night! As I slept longer, I was able to have sane thoughts and I functioned normally again. I continued to just focus on what I thought was best, and I left what other people said in the dust, especially the number one thing that I was letting rule my life: Babywise.

It's difficult, because in our day and time, we have access to tons of information. Information for how to do everything, including parenting. While it is good, I think you have to be careful in this area, because NO ONE has been exactly where you are. They are not your family. They are not your baby. As a first time mom, a good student, I studied. I knew what I was going to do for the "test." I was prepared. I had a plan and if I did X, X, and X, it was going to work out perfectly, and my baby would be the BEST baby on the planet!

(While I DO have the best baby on the planet....)

Somewhere around 7 months, I got into a rhythm that was all our own. At 6 months, I started to feel like I was settling in as a mama and in my new role. At 8 months it was even better, and at 9 months I'm loving it.

It feels good to be his mama and to feel comfortable here. To understand this baby stuff and not because a book told me how it should be done, but because we figured it out. We relied on the Lord's strength together.

You always have to be careful not to compare, even now. I could stress that my son is 9 months and not mobile, but there are so many bigger things than that to think about, and that isn't one of my concerns. I could stress that he doesn't really like real food, but he is doing awesome right where he is, at the rate he is at, and he makes us smile and laugh daily. He is a blessing and I have loved seeing him grow and learn. Even if it were all to change tomorrow, we would know God is good to us, always. I pray you know that today, and if you have a baby or a newborn that God would allow you to love your little one right where you are at with him.

Hugs to you!

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