Growing pains

**I actually started this post two(?) weeks ago, and have just been able to get back to it now. That’s life with a baby, I guess.

Could just be hormones, but it has been a very emotional few days around here. Big talks and big changes abound, and all the while, I am trying to stay afloat while caring for my little big baby.

By my best, educated guess, Miles is currently going through a “wonder week,” which has proven to be a challenge for both of us. He’s been more clingy and fussy, and I’ve had to be more patient and understanding, since my poor little guy is just trying to get through things as best he can. These days, more than usual, when I get him to bed at night, my arms and back are so sore, and I’m happy to finally get some time to myself.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I started writing this some time ago, and since then, I feel like so much more has changed already.

Miles turned three months old a few days ago, marking our official transition out of the “fourth trimester.” I don’t know what a lot of the books say about that, ’cause to be honest, I haven’t read much of the baby literature I’m supposed to, but I can honestly say it wasn’t that bad—mostly because we all survived.

However, this next stage seems to be where the real challenges have begun (at least for me), and I find myself sitting in guilt and self-doubt more than ever before. I am always afraid that I haven’t done enough, or that I’m doing too much.

I’m also constantly at odds with feeling relieved after (hopefully) successfully getting through each new phase, and feeling a sense of grief, because I know that he will never be as he was before. Although I love watching Miles learn new things and discover the world around him, I also want him to be teeny tiny for as long as possible.

Honestly, part of it is because it feels like the more he grows and learns, the less independence I have. I knew what I was getting into before having him, but I didn’t realize that it would affect me this much. Even temporary things like having to surrender my shotgun privileges so I can sit with Miles in the back seat of our car bummed me out. Why?

Feeling very glamorous whilst pumping in the car, driving along on the highway.

My biggest, most nagging thought, is that right now my body doesn’t even feel like it belongs to me. It feeds the baby, it holds the baby, and sometimes, it serves as a mattress or a play playground for the baby. While from the outside, it might look like I’m “back to normal,” I feel anything but. I have new scars that I’m still trying to get used to. Sometimes, I look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t even recognize myself. I have changed. I knew I would, but again, I didn’t think it would affect me this much. It’s not even that I’m unhappy about how I look—this “new” body just feels so foreign to me. Still trying to get to know her, I guess.

Moving on from survival mode seems to have brought these previously compartmentalized feelings to the surface. I’m sure all parents go through this, which should offer me some kind of solace, but damn if it isn’t nice to just vent and shoot the shit about how I’ve been feeling lately, even via keyboard and screen.

Hoping for a better day tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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