Saturday 16 April 2011

Shadow on my parade

I won't make any friends with this post. However, when I started this blog I said that I would always write about the honest truth and this is what I'm planning to do.

Maybe I'm paranoid but ever since we got back home from the hospital, when people asked us how we are doing, you can see a mix of confusion and disappointment when we tell them that in fact we are doing great!

And it is true! We are doing great! Alice is a baby that hardly cries (Your baby didn't turn burgundy while having a fit?), I have no problems breastfeeding yet (Your nipples are not sore and painful?), we adapted well to our new sleeping routine (You are not too exhausted to take a shower and eat?), my relationship with my husband got even stronger (You actually have time to talk to your husband?), etc.

I know that having a newborn is overwhelming and that it takes time (a lot of time) to adapt to this new little creature. However, when things are going great, why do people feel the need to find fault where there is none?

At first I was all happy with how things turned out. Now, there is always a little shadow on my parade that says "get ready, something will burst your bubble and you will be miserable"! I actually started to find excuses like "oh, she is calm now but, don't worry, she will probably have horrible colics"! that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that I wrote a similar post about negative reactions to happy pregnancies. Oh well, I guess I just don't learn.


Lisa said...

I just read through all your it that everything is going great. I understand what you mean about waiting for the other shoe to drop. As you know, things went tragically bad for me within hours so I really did have experience with this. I live with that nagging fear and go to therapy to fight the panic. The truth is, it always does turn out okay...we just need to keep reminding ourselves of that.

I used that baby channging pad and loved it! Best creation ever formchanging your baby in public spaces. I also had something for busing called the Hooter Hidder. Inappropriate name but fantastic product.

emily said...


i was just talking about this with my doula today: how people feel the need to give you a "dose of reality" even when the woman, pregnant or new mom, expresses joy and contentment and excitement and confidence.

it's a disservice to women who may be enjoying their pregnancy or parenthood (as you and i seem to be) to make sure they know that bad stuff happens and things aren't always peachy keen.

no shit. ain't that life, anyway?

let me be excited and feel great and plan for my baby and how my hubby and i will raise the little bean up.! we're fully aware that births don't always go as planned and babies don't sleep like clockwork. sheesh.

Sid. said...

First let me say that I am so happy to hear things are going well for you! Also, do yourself a favour and give yourselves some credit for this. People will say that you are just lucky but you're clearly making the choices that work for you (on-demand breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc.). It won't make me any friends either but I think that some people make being parents hard themselves by setting unrealistic expectations (e.g., kids should sleep through the night in their own cribs by X weeks/months) or not recognizing that you just need to relax and go with the flow. Sure there's been some tough nights/days but overall I've found the last 19 months of my daughter's life to be very similar to what you're describing. Of course, I'm just praying that the next kid won't be hell and make me eat my words :)

Solidia said...

I'm glad things are going well for you. I had a similar experience to you as well. I enjoyed all three of my girls. Alice (Alice is my Mother's name too) is a beautiful baby! Enjoy her and let the words of others fall on deaf ears. The time when they are this small passes so quickly. Too quickly!

Lola said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my postpartum experience. I'm glad you've had an easy time too.

Ali said...

From those of us for whom things did not go great, I can tell you that it's envy, pure and simple :)
It's only possible to keep one's sanity by clinging to the belief that it's really hard for everyone. So do us a favour and at least try to look a touch sleep deprived will ya?!

abby said...

A friend of mine just recently had her first baby. Her baby is really happy, a great sleeper and just a generally easy going baby. My friend and her husband are doing great, feeling strong and are so happy and loving being new parents.... well she recently complained of this same thing! Everyone is expecting (hoping for?) some kind of drama, but there is just no drama to feed their silly probing. Just keep enjoying, and don't let the misery-loves-company stuff (or what ever it is people have going on) ruffle your feathers. I am really happy to hear that everything is going so well for you 3!

Kim U said...

Aw, don't let the shadow get you down. I'm really happy that things are going so well for you! I know from reading other peoples' stories that my first couple of weeks and months with my son were pretty easy compared to what a lot of people experienced. I possibly hesitate a bit to share how well things went because I feel a lot of empathy for those who had harder times. Lovely photo, BTW!

Little Gray Pixel said...

Well, I for one am jealous that your baby sleeps so well! But mostly I applaud your ease into motherhood. Don't let the negative nellies bring you down.

Julie Alvarez said...

I agree, and I agree.
Both my pregnancy and the first year of my daughter's life were completely great. No exhaustion, no trouble breastfeeding (except for only one, that went away quickly), no desperation... I was in baby moon all the time!
I am so happy for you!!!

Anne said...

Maybe it's just these people don't know what to say but want to chit-chat, so they go through a list of stereotypes.
As a pregnant woman, people ask me all the time whether I'm sick. (I'm not and haven't been at all).
And why would bad stuff happen? When you're relaxed, the baby feels it and is not relaxed in return, and everything goes well. Carry on this way!

Ella said...

i'm so happy for you Clo!
i find myself nodding my head at all the other comments here. such good folk here.
i've had both experiences. i've been the sleep deprived, bordering on loony, set myself up with too great of expectations thinking my baby would have nothing to cry mothering little M who has been an absolute dream baby for nearly a year now! no bubbles burst!
you guys are amazing and i'm so happy for you that things are going smooth and well.

UK lass in US said...

Ignore them and just be glad at your good fortune - I'm sure Alice will throw you some challenges along the way, but every kid is different and some babies just are a LOT easier than others (One poor friend had one kid with issues that meant spending EVERY evening screaming from about 5pm 'til 7.30pm - my friend looked half-crazed).

I've always thought that kids pretty much guide you into parenthood rather gently. For someone with no experience like me, it was a relief that during those first few weeks all they really require is feeding, changing diapers and bathing. Enjoy it - and go to the cinema while you still stand a good chance of her sleeping / feeding through the whole film. In another month or so you'll be needing a babysitter for things like that

Clairsy said...

As someone who's very newly pregnant, it's nice to hear a positive story!! I know what you mean about people enjoying being negative, I think it's a bit of schadenfreud at play. I experienced my first dose from a nurse who did my blood test. She asked if I'd been feeling sick and when I said "no, been feeling fine actually" her response was "well, just you wait, you'll be exhausted in the last trimester" (I'd like to think that my response would have been "lucky you, that's great!").
I've heard some babies are devil babies, and others are easier, but you should still take some credit too! Well done and nice to hear!

Anonymous said...

So glad it's going well! We had the opposite experience - we only knew stories about the bliss of life with a newborn, and then we had a super difficult time. I was just as frustrated because I thought no one had been straight with me! I guess it's always just common for people to want company, whether in misery or joy. Good for you that it's the joy! Relish it. No explanations necessary!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are enjoying motherhood and feeling good. Don't take it personally that everyone keeps asking if it is tough, it might not be yet, but it will be. It is one thing ALL parents have in common, we KNOW having babie's is hard. Babie's routine, sleeping, feeding and health can change drastically in a nano second. I have 5 children, they were all hard work, even number 5. I do not know anyone, not one single person, who will tell you raising babie's is not tiring and hard. Sorry to say, you are being a bit naive and just the tiniest bit smug. You're alienating yourself by insisting on such perfection - it will get harder, I promise you that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Claudia! Ive been reading your blog since it was about sewing!, I'm really glad everything is going so well with your new baby

I just wanted to say something little and I hope you don't get offended

sometimes when you are talking about you, your voice sounds a little bit braggy, just making notice of how different you are from everyone else (which you are and is wonderful!) but also with a little hint of "what I do is better than what every one in this planet does", you know what I mean? in a blog format we get to know you and love you pretty slowly, but if a person just met you and hears you talking like that they wouldnt probably take it in a nice way

I just think we have to be sensitive in the way we talk, imagine if you were saying that you wanted a natural birth and somebody else says "oh, I had a natural birth, is the best thing ever, I wouldnt change it for anything, oh is so empowering and wonderful and incredible!" ... well what I mean is, if you're talking to a sleep deprived, nipple cracked person, just inform a little bit but don't brag about it too much... maybe you would get a better response from them!

thats all I wanted to say, but I love your blog, I think you're sweet and funny and wonderful and you remind me of my favorite friends

sorry if my english is not perfect!


Anonymous said...

All goes to show just how different everyone's can experiences can be. Hooray for variety! Beauty comes with all of it.

Susan said...

You're actually making me think I might be able to do it.

Thanks for being completely honest, it brightens my day.

Hoola Tallulah said...

Ah Claudia I am so pleased it is all going well for you. Try not to take it personally or feel like people are raining on your parade, I think we are all conditioned to talk about the niggles because for more parents it dominates our days and its good to get it off your chest. Some mothers are lucky lucky lucky and have lovely placid babies who sail through that first year, and that's great, just try and remember it is not like that for the great majority. I am sure no one means to cause you offence, it is just a bit more common for people to find it tiring.

I was not tired when I had my first baby, I could have stayed awake all night looking at her, I was so euphoric and high on pure love, but the tiredness caught up with me and it was hard. I am so envious that you are finding it such a doddle.

Anonymous said...

Je suis Vraiment contente pour vous et je partage votre joie d'avoir un aussi bon bébé. Alice est née sous LA bonne étoile (chez vous). Je suis cependant déçu de voir les commentaires négatifs sur le fait que tu te vante et tout le restes...! à l'évidence tu partage comment tu vie l'arriver d'Alice et disons-le tant mieux pour toi si ton bébé est pas la cause d'une dépression. Il n'y à pas un bébé pareil n'y une nouvelle maman qui réagit pareil. tu as bien le droit d'être heureuse et de le dire a haute voix!!!

jamie said...

love this post!

i think people just have a hard time finding balance. i mean, i am glad i know how hard it can be, so that if it is really hard for us we are not blindsided, but FUCK i know it can be happy too, and it seems like the closer you get, the more everyone just tells you how hard it is.

my husband especially has a hard time with this. all his guy friends focus so much on the negative. he is like, yeah i GET IT, i am going to lose sleep, so what?


happy for you guys.

Lindsey [homegrown spud] said...

I just found your blog tonight, and it was perfect to read! Thank you for being brutally honest and uplifting. I am a positive person by I envision myself with the same outcome as you have. Thats refreshing to see with so many blogs about how hard life is. Life is hard- but only if you want it to be.

I am newly pregnant...and boy oh boy have I gotton some grandly negative comments! I didn't expect it. I work in a hospital, and I know I told people "early" but heck, I was excited...and if I miscarry I want their support also. Anyways a female pregnant doctor....said "oh wow... you're really brave for telling people so early! I waited until 20 weeks." Awesome. Or "oh, you're not having morning sickness?! OOoooo thats not good." Super. Thanks for worrying the pregnant lady. Can't I just enjoy and live in the glorious moment?!