Thursday, September 27, 2012

The truth about parenting: Three week update

You know, I think if starry-eyed young couples really knew how hard the first weeks with a newborn would be, the human race would've died out ages ago. But we have the amazing capacity to forget the hard things and so you hear sweet words from older ladies like, "Cherish every moment!" because they've forgotten what it was like to have a brand-new baby.

It's 3 in the morning and he's screaming. I don't want to cherish this moment. I want to go to sleep and forget it and pretend I don't have a baby so I can sleep more than two hours at a time.

Just being honest.

It's been a rough first three weeks. It's not Jude's fault. He's a tiny human, and crying is his only way to tell us he needs us. So, he cries. Actually, he's a very happy baby 80% of the time. Seriously. He spent practically all day yesterday on his little playmat, happy as could be to watch the world around him. But the screaming quickly escalates, and it's only trial-and-error to figure out what he needs to stop the screaming, let him know we're taking care of him... I think that's the hardest part for Andrew and me. We so want him to know he's loved and taken care of, but he's only three weeks old and still learning to trust us. So, he screams.

The doctors weren't pleased with his weight gain the first couple of weeks, so they put us on a crazy stressful feeding schedule, which took over all of our time and prevented either Jude or me from getting any actual sleep. They sent me to the lactation consultant multiple times, gave me supplimentary feeding tubes, told me to pump after every feeding... oh, and make sure you get some rest, too. That's a good one, doc.

It's startling how it stings to think that you can't provide for your baby, that maybe your body just can't do enough to help him grow. It hurts. It's personal. It makes you cry.

But, as of Monday, he's gaining weight well, and maybe after next week we can let him set the eating schedule, instead of waking the poor kid up in the middle of the night.

We love our man-cub fiercely. I just wanted to let you know that parenting is hard work. Literally, physically hard work.

So, pray for us, reader. We're adjusting and learning and struggling, because we're selfish sinners who want a convenient baby who fits our schedule and doesn't disrupt the comfortable life we had before he arrived. Silly. Babies are never convenient. Sanctification is never comfortable.

We want to love Jude well. We want to teach him the gospel well. And I guess that starts with being reminded every day that we need it, too. I certainly do.


  1. So good! While I can't relate to the parenting side of things, I am certainly learning how much I need the Lord's strength and how much I need the gospel every day, in every part of my life. Thank you! Praying for you! :)

  2. As funny as it seems to say this, this post is really encouraging. Yeah, we don't have any kids yet and as such I can't really say "I know what you mean!" But the fact that you're so honest with your life means you can be honest with your faith, too, and that's such a good challenge to me. Knowing your limitations means you know when you need to cry out to God, not say, "Yeah, God, I got this one."

    So refreshing to hear, Millie. I can barely wait until Rach and I have a man-cub of our own :)

  3. Such a good, honest post, Millie.

    You're doing great. You really are! Jude is lucky to have you two as parents :)

  4. You're experiencing real things, and honest things, and the Lord will use these kinds of things to help you encourage other moms someday (and encourage yourself down the road by thinking "well, I made it through those first weeks, I can make it through *insert challenge here*")! I appreciate your willingness to share! And you know what? Jude is YOUR baby ... he has no other mom or dad, and you two are the best at caring for him of anyone in the entire world. Take heart, friend!