I’ve been writing this post since Monday. Story of my life lately, and preamble to all my posts since Hawk was born. He’ll be three months on the 15th; the “fourth trimester” is almost over. Does that mean everything will get “better”? So I’ve heard, but I’m not holding my breath. Everything changes every day, nothing is really better or worse, I guess, it’s all challenging. haha.
I turned 47 last Saturday. My birthday came and went without a lot of fanfare, but with more “negative” emotions than usual this time. I usually love getting older, but now, I feel older. My body hurts, my sciatica is back with a vengeance, and I can’t see well (I need new lenses…). Of course, I also thought life would be different approaching my 50th – I could never have expected to have a toddler at that time. Hawk is a gift, to be sure, but one that comes with a lot of conflicting emotions. He is all consuming and I am challenged daily by the new person I must be for him.
Now, I am a person who wears pajamas all day (not because I want to), takes a shower, and then puts them back on.
I have given up trying to do much work at all, and taken to binging on tv shows while Hawk endlessly nurses/takes a bottle. Even during the day. GASP. I wonder if I’d “known” how difficult these early months would be if I’d taken all three off from even trying to work. Probably not, but in hindsight I wish I had. It would still be hard, but at least I’d not have the pressure of work also. I enjoy my work, and I think about writing here all the time, but I just can’t make it work. And that is frustrating.
Hawk giggles now, and it’s mesmerizing.
He hates being worn lately, and screams until I take him out of the Solly baby wrap – he really prefers to be held looking out, so I might try a new carrier that allows that (I still can’t figure out the ring sling).
He doesn’t sleep during the day unless I’m holding him, or unless we get in the car and go out. He does sleep pretty well at night, no matter when he goes down (usually between 8 and 9) he sleeps until 3 or 4 in the morning. The problem is that he has a really hard time going back down after eating. Sometimes I just end up taking him to bed with me. (I know co-sleeping is frowned upon in this country, but I think it can be done in a safe way. He can’t even move an eyelash without my waking up, so I feel good about it for a couple hours at least)
0-3 month clothing is fitting him better; I can tell he’s gaining weight, but not much, and not very quickly.
He LOVES to listen and dance to music and wants to look right at the speaker; we listen to Peter and the Wolf on repeat now.
That’s about it for now. My postpartum clothing dilemma is solved apparently, by my just wearing pajamas all day. I’m not thrilled about that, but I have bought and returned so many things recently that this just has to be it for a while; nothing that I’ve bought fits me very well. I did end up getting five pairs of hi-rise undies from ARQ and I LOVE THEM so much. Having underwear that fits and is not all stretched out or holey is a glorious thing…
Oh, and I ordered the wool Clyde jacket when the CWC launched at Elizabeth Suzann (I returned the linen Kara dress I ordered so used that credit towards the jacket). I’m hoping it will get here before Thanksgiving, but honestly I need it now; it’s been very cold off and on here, a lot of my sweaters are rather tight in the arms, and my Patagonia jacket doesn’t zip up anymore.
Life is beautiful. But also hard. It can be both I think…
Happy Friday!! I miss you guys, and hope to be back to regular posting soon. Maybe in the new year? Till then, I suppose you’ll have to look at my posts as happy surprises 😉
Ha, I still wear my PJs most days unless I’m literally leaving the house. I know it won’t last forever — if I only had my almost-4 year old, I think I could *maybe* actually wear real clothes, but my 15 month old is WAAAYY messier than my first daughter ever was. Anyway, no shame. Wearing clothes more often will happen when it happens, and when it does I know I will miss their baby-selves, a lot. But right now, I haven’t showered since Tuesday :-/
Aside, we co-slept for the first months. With my first it was not my intention, but like you I am an EXTREMELY light sleeper and we followed the guidelines. And she went into her own crib around 6-7 months. With my second I intended to co-sleep because of how well it worked out the first time, and I treasured it because I knew it wouldn’t last long. It’s always my husband who wants them out of the bed, lol. Anyway.
He is so big now, and looks so alert and just…beautiful. I think you are right to say it can be beautiful and hard at the same time. I think that’s really the only honest description of motherhood. Love <3 <3
Hi Gretchen! I’ve been following your blog (initially for everlane reviews, then for your pregnancy – we got pregnant around the same time) for a while but have never commented. Our baby (12 weeks old on Sunday) is also a Will Only Sleep On A Person baby, so we’ve taken to co-sleeping – its just so much easier to feed him at night, we both get more sleep, and it works for us. Per Emily Osler’s book Cribsheet (high recommend), when you look at the data, that rates of SIDS in breastfed, co-sleeping babies is negligibly higher relative to non-co-sleeping, breastfed babies. That helped me a lot. Also, regarding ring sling, we found this video helpful – https://youtu.be/7qhwIpURxXc. I’m not sure you can use outward facing carriers until the baby can hold his head up, but I could be wrong. Sending love!
Leah Wise says
I appreciate the tone and pace of this, and though I’m not in the same place as you, I feel like I’ve been tossed a bit by both the incredible beauty of my current life and also the identity-shifting, which is hard even when it’s clearly what I wanted or value.
Leah Wise´s last blog post ..How to Avoid Shopping at Amazon This Holiday Season
It is hard and beautiful at the same time. Early motherhood ladles out really big helpings of the hard, but it pays off, down the line. In my experience, not to freak you out, but the “getting easier” stuff didn’t really happen until my daughter was between 6-7 months. I could take her out to eat then on the days when I had to get out and needed someone to feed me, and we could sit at a counter where she would play with chopsticks and interact with the counter staff and I could feel the life that was coming when I wasn’t her whole world any more. But like I said, having put in that hard time made me way, way more confident when she was a toddler. I never had trouble with discipline or life structure, per se, because I could always reach back into myself and be like, “I did my bit, I get to tell you how this is going to work now.”
Also I’m 63 and sometimes wear pajamas all day because I’m trying to write fiction, so, no shame in that.
Lisa´s last blog post ..Día de los Muertos, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:54am
Aw, Grechen, Hawk is so cute, I can hardly stand it. That darling face!
When my boys were teeny I remember wearing my nursing nightgowns all day and night for at least the first six months. They never slept and in the early hours of the morning, I could be seen in downtown Beverly Hills in my nightgown and clogs, carrying my baby son to stand on a nearby street corner so he could watch the traffic lights change. It was the only thing that would keep him quiet, and I was too bloody exhausted to care how unchic and ridiculous I looked, LOL. My neighbors got a kick out of it, though 🙂
I’ve taken to doing something so odd the last couple of weeks, that is sort of the opposite of staying in PJ’s all day. Lately, when I lie down on our bed in the late evening to read, I doze off. My husband urges me get under the covers later, but he says I refuse to change into pajamas and I sleep in my clothes. I tend to dress rather comfortably during the day for work, etc., but still it’s kinda strange that I’ve been sleeping in my clothes under the covers. The upside is that when I spring out of bed in the morning I’m all dressed to drive my son to school and run a few errands before I have to go home and change into fresh clothes for work.
I can’t go on like this indefinitely, but who cares. Life is such an awesome little series of epochs, isn’t it?
It’s so good to see a post from Grechen in my box! And fun to see sweet Hawk growing and changing (loved the giggles on Instagram!). I know that life is exhausting and infants are all-consuming…I remember crying on many a day. But, those precious moments when your baby is nursing, you’re just WITH him and nothing else takes priority…those are what it’s all about. And they go by in the blink of an eye. I co-slept with my babies before it had a name, and it made life – and sleep – easier for me. Go for it! And remember, it’s tough now, but it’ll keep on getting better.
“Hell, yeah!” to life in pajamas. 😉
Hi, Gretchen…..just a quick suggestion, try playing classical music for Hawk. Not the crashing through the ceiling stuff, but more soothing music. Chopin is nice and Hawk may enjoy a Strauss waltz now and then. Or you might. Apparently music soothes the savage beast..so they say.
Anyway, take care…Anita
It’s always good to see a post from you no matter how often! Please take care of yourself and adorable little Hawk and don’t worry or feel pressured. We’ll still be here when you have more time (promise!). Thanks for sharing what’s going on with you.
He looks underweight, hungry and miserable. He is your work for the next 18 years.
What is WRONG with you Sharon!?!?!
I’m thinking she needs psychiatric help. Or for someone to take her phone out of her hands when she’s drunk.
I log in every now and then to see if I have missed a post. I enjoy keeping track of Grechen and the baby. I saw that there were a few new messages to this post so I checked in. I AM APPALLED at that horrible comment. There are beautiful people in this world, luckily. Sharon is not one of them. I follow Grechen religiously, but rarely comment. I could not let this one go.
Hawk is such a cutie, Gretchen! I don’t know how you can even stand it!
Hope you’re well. Missing your posts but I remember how this time of life is like. We coslept as well. Do what you know needs to be done. Lots of love and hugs!
my 8 year old boy still co-sleep as he did as a preemie and I stopped caring about rules, I care about love, gratitude and the miracle of life. A 3 month old is wired to want to co-sleep, he would have died in the wild. nothing is more soothing than feeling the mother’s heartbeat.
Do you not have any photos of your son when he’s smiling?
Sharon, attacking a mother and her newborn like this is incredibly low. I follow this blog and appreciate Gretchen’s honesty about the transition to motherhood. You should take your troll routine elsewhere.
Maybe I’m in the minority, but I find Sharon’s honest comments refreshing. Although I can see why most of you would consider her rude. I also think that Hawk is cute, and comes across as having a quirky character. (I consider that a compliment.) Grechen, I know that you’re very busy, and hope that your family has a happy holiday season. You have a lot to celebrate with a sweet son this year.
Honest? When words are used as weapon?, it’s not honesty, it’s just plain MEAN. Judith Martin, better known as Miss Manners, said, “Honesty’ in social life is often used as a cover for rudeness. But there is quite a difference between being candid in what you’re talking about, and people voicing their insulting opinions under the name of honesty.”
Cultivate some decency.
Like you all, I love, love, love Grechen and her newest family member, Hawk. I don’t subscribe to your blog Grechen because I like to be surprised when I see a new post. Reading your blog is, for me, a great source of joy, regardless of the subject matter: style, clothing, sustainability, relationships, food, birding, and now, of course, Hawk:)
Sharon? What up? Hawk and Grechen are a-m-a-z-i-n-g!
Based on your comment, I feel sorry for you because you come off like a miserable person. Do something positive with your time and put your energy into helping others (volunteering, etc). You will learn kindness hopefully.
Agree with everything Dawn wrote. I check the blog everyday and think often about how you guys are doing. Wishing you all the joy this week and hope you are spending it with people you love.
Hi Gretchen. I have looked at your blog from time to time. When I was 47 with a newborn and again at 50 with another. I was trying to rediscover my new self through clothes. Ha! I have a closet full and I can finally start wearing them at 55. Everything you are feeling is normal. It’s a tough journey but you will be able to breathe and enjoy many beautiful times. The days are long ,the night and years are short. The best advice a pediatrician gave me is don’t sleep with the baby. Everyone will sleep much better in their own beds. It’s takes a few crying nights but they get over it. It’s the first of many battles. Take care of yourself and your needs as best you can so you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s hard to maintain all the goals and person you were before the baby so cut yourself some slack. Always remember you are a great mom and your little one will always love you. Age is really just a number. Once he is in school all the moms are in the same boat and you will fit in perfectly. Enjoy the journey your baby and you PJ’s !
Angela Powell says
Hi Grechen! This my first visit to your blog. It’s very e njoyable to see sweet Hawk developing and changing! I realize that life is debilitating and newborn children are all-expending… I cried on numerous a day. In any case, those valuable minutes when your child is nursing, you’re simply WITH him and nothing else takes need… those are what it’s about. Furthermore, they pass by in a split second. I co-laid down with my children before it had a name, and it made life – and rest – simpler for me. Pull out all the stops! What’s more, recall, it’s extreme now, however, it’ll continue showing signs of improvement.