Something very strange happened last night: Hank slept through the night. And not just slept until 2 or even 4am and then woke for a feeding. It is 6:15 now and he’s still not up. I am, of course, in shock.
It’s been a difficult two or so weeks. A few good days have been in there, and they have been amazing in contrast. The bad days have felt like colic all over again. He’s fussy, wants to be held constantly, cries for no apparent reason, eats sporadically (sometimes not for 3 1/2 + hours, sometimes freaks out to eat after an hour), cries any time someone besides me tries to hold him, and the sleeping. The sleeping has been awful. Impossible to get him to sleep and up and up and up and then UP at 4am. And did I mention fussy?
There’s only one way to describe being with him when he’s like this: it sucks. It sucks ass. It’s the worst of the worst. And it was like that for over 3 months. A few good hours and then days sprinkled in to a sea of whining and fussing and sometimes screaming while you scramble to find something to calm him down and NOTHING works. Despite all of this he is absolutely the love of my life. One smile from him gives me a kind of joy I never knew possible. I live for his smiles and his laughter is the best thing I have ever, ever heard. But still. Still, the truth is that it’s hard. And some part of me wonders why I couldn’t have had an easy baby. One that sleeps.
There’s no way to know how parenthood will change you. How it will change your life. How it will change your relationship. Right now I feel lost. And it’s not depression, I was there and luckily it passed. But having a baby changes your life so totally, and four months in, I feel like I am standing outside of myself looking back on who I was, and I can’t get back in. I feel trapped in the extra 15 pounds, unable to get my body back. Forget vanity. Forget clothes or looking halfway attractive. Forget writing or art or music or photography or adult conversations. Forget anything that lasts longer than 10-15 minutes before he needs to be picked up again. And I don’t say this negatively, it’s just the way that it is.
Last night I had real dreams, ones that happen with uninterrupted sleep. I dreamt about hotels. Temporary rooms. Places that I couldn’t stay. And I am not sure if it was symbolic of my current state, or if it represented my desire to leave. To escape. To run away from everything that is hard right now. Right now there is a strange liminality to my life. I am in between my old life and my new one. My son is not yet who he will become. Nor am I. We’re just here and I’m trying not to feel like I am waiting, waiting for something. I guess that I am just waiting to settle in to my new normal. But I’m not there. And I wonder when I will arrive.