Tuesday, March 19, 2013

First Time is Never Easy

The first month after having Blake, I had help. During my confinement period then, I had Sean, my mom and grandmother around to help me - from cooking to laundry to baby duties. But all that ended the moment I moved back home after confinement.

Sean returned to work, and I was all alone. With this.

Blake was a colicky baby. A super colicky one. He cried from day to night, night to day. The loud piercing cries of Blake could be heard blocks away. This I know because I remember Sean telling me he heard Blake crying while walking towards our block. Basically, my memories from those days with him were just him crying non-stop for 3-4 months straight. That, and tons of carrying which grew out muscles for Sean and me. Needless to say, the first 3-4 months was a very trying period for us.

We turned into the living dead due to the lack of sleep, and because of that, we argued a lot; The most we have ever argued in our entire of six years together then.

I remember being very depressed. I had shut myself out from the rest of the world (visible online with lots of rants), and I cried a lot, threw tons of tantrums at the slightest bit of anything.

This was how I ate at home for the first 3-4 months. All I ate were instant/microwavable food.

He would only sleep while being carried

Happiness to me back then was having peace in the house and not having to move to get anything done

Whenever he would sleep, I would try too

I find myself having to choose what's most important to me on a daily basis - eat, shower or sleep. I could not have all or two. I could only have one per day, when I'm on my own. Usually, I'll take food cos I could always take a quick shower when Sean's home. Not being able to shower when I feel icky was part of the reason why I never enjoyed breastfeeding. It's a very messy business for a first-timer, at least for me. Taking a nap would be a huge gamble cos Blake would wake up at any moment. Unless he's sleeping on top of me, it's pretty difficult to get a decent nap. And that would make me even more grouchy than I already am.

I was in constant angst and self-pity. I ever considered throwing myself off the building, with or without Blake, just to be done with everything. Yes, these awful thoughts flashed past my mind more than once.

On one of those mornings when I had that thought, and was very sure I would follow through with it, I called Sean to tell him I could not take it anymore. He had just reached his work place, and he got so worried about Blake's safety and mine, he took an urgent leave and rushed home to be by our side.

I had locked myself and Blake in the room. Blake was, as usual, screaming at the top of his lungs, and I was covering my head with a pillow bawling my eyes out. The whole room was a loud, noisy mess.

When Sean entered the room, the feeling that I felt when he came to comfort me first, instead of attending to Blake, was triumphant. I was actually competing with my own son for my husband's affections unknowingly.

I cannot remember how long it took for Sean to calm me down, and to get me back to sleep before taking Blake out of the room. I only remember that after that day, I still cried whenever I lost it, but never again did I have those awful dark thoughts.

Things got much better after Blake was 4 months old. Along with switching from regular formula milk to goat's formula milk, I had stopped breastfeeding him too, and those seemed to have had a positive effect on his colic. He only cried when he was hungry, fell asleep on his own in whatever comfortable positions he could get himself in, and that's when he began to laugh and smile at us too! :D

The funniest, and I presume most uncomfortable, position I ever caught him sleeping in

Saying Blake's laughter wasn't infectious is a lie. A big fat one!

As the tougher days past, I find myself enjoying the time spent with Blake. I even found him to be quite the trooper! Even when he was down with fever, Blake would still find the energy to play with me. Only when he is really down with something terrible, will he whine and just want to be lying near us, regardless of what we're doing.

Being a first time mother to Blake brought about a couple of regrettable actions which I am ashamed of. I had thought I was well-prepared for what was to come, but I was obviously not. However, thanks to the experience Blake gave me, I am now better at my motherly duties with Nakayla. If not for him, Nakayla would probably go through the first few months with me just like Blake had to. Perhaps this is why I seem to be more favourable towards Blake at this point. Looking at how things were with him then, and how things are with Nakayla now, I think I'm trying to make it up to him subconsciously.

But honestly, I must thank my lucky stars for having Sean in my life. I'm really lucky to have a husband who cares so much for his family, who gave me all the emotional and physical support I needed despite his own need for some back then. I cannot imagine how he lived through that period with the very little amount of sleep he had, and having to put up with all the craziness that is me, and still having to go to work as usual! And the fact that he went along with my idea of having a second child last year, in spite of all that has been mentioned above... He truly is a Superman. My Superman ♥

One is never alone in their walk down a difficult path.
Read similar stories here and find the strength to carry on:


  1. That was a very tough 3 months as a first time mom, and I perfectly understand why you broke down, I would too. Glad to learn that Blake became a happy baby after that. I think your story is a great example of how experiencing tough times with your first child, do make u a stronger mom for your second, Nakayla. And now, be fully capable to manage 2 young children all by yourself single-handedly. U are very lucky to have an understanding and supportive spouse like your hb, who really makes a world of difference in facing these challenges in motherhood.

    1. I just hope my craziness won't affect him when he grows up! I don't know if babies register anything (even if they don't recall it) and behave in a certain manner subconsciously cos of the way they were treated when they were babies!

      And yes, having a really supportive spouse does indeed make a world of difference. I really don't know what I'll do without Sean.

  2. You are a superwoman yourself Mabel. Never forget that :) Well done! thanks for your post, I would say it reassures all of us that we are how we are being moulded. Nobody said it was an easy road but all of us did survived this (post birth) journey/s at least once or twice.

    1. Yes, I did! I survived it! Hahaha. It also helped that Nakayla was slightly easier to handle. Ohterwise, I think I'll really go mad. Haha!

      I actually had a misconception that it would be easy! Or so it was portrayed to me... Haha. Oh wells, we all have to learn from somewhere :P

  3. Thanks for the honest account of handling the transition to life with a newborn...Honestly, I can relate. My first experience was also hair-raising / heart-rending, and I found myself losing it more than I ever thought I would. I guess it's not just about how prepared we are though that's certainly a big chunk. It's also about our baby's temperament, and tolerance level for a noob mum's usually large margin of error (haha).

    I guess the wonderful thing after going through all that, is that when the time comes when we actually get to enjoy the child and motherhood, the joy is multiplied many times over! (And we can only say this after the fact...) ;)

    Thanks for sharing such an honest account of a first-time mum's experience.

    1. Looking bad at those times when I lost it, I feel really guilty! I never thought I would lose it at an infant, my own baby. Sigh. Yes, the baby's temperament and all really do play a huge part! Haha. I remember panicking a lot back then, and I kept wondering, "just what am I doing wrong?!"

      But yes, overcoming the odds definitely made all the happy and joyful moments multiply ten folds at least!

      Thank you for dropping by! It's good to know that I wasn't alone in this first time journey :)