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It’s been a bit over a week now since Ean’s birth. These are my thoughts and advice to you.
I am absolutely exhausted, this actually came as a surprise to me but between work, being a stay at home dad, managing a house construction and caring for a recovering wife from the marathon of labor there is very little room left for me. Both speech and thoughts are affected to the point of slurrying and having difficulty organising thoughts and words. It’s not so much the sleep deprivation, I never cared much for sleep. It’s the emotional stress that I have to assume any parent who cares for their own kids goes through. Your baby is crying and you are trying everything in your power to find what’s wrong and calm them down, but sometimes nothing hits the spot.
This is for me by far the most challenging thing so far. I can change a diaper with my eyes closed, I have learned techniques that I will go over later with you that helps to sooth an agitated baby, I even have a constant food dispenser in the shape of wives breast so I never have to worry about formula, temperatures, dosages and whether or not he had enough food. All of these things are as I expected, a cakewalk. It’s the helplessness and how it affects my self-esteem and confidence that is the most difficult to deal with.
My advice to you, whether you’re a mother or a father is, sleep, sleep, sleep. Any chance you get, any window of opportunity you get to catch a few REM cycles. Put away the phone, Instagram, Skype and Facebook and make sleep your number one priority at all times. It’s a rare commodity when you have a newborn so I can not stress this enough. Dishes, cleaning, friends and family can wait, just get some sleep. At this point in a newborn there is no sense of normalsy or patterns. Your baby can want to eat twice in three hours and then sleep long enough for you to go and check if he’s still breathing.
The highlight of the week was taking a shower with Ean. It was the first real thing that we shared and that wasn’t related to me performing a sanitary service.
Looking beyond the sleep deprivation and shattered confidence, this is truly a time that is both remarkable and amazing. You start noticing changes and nuances. You spend hours just staring at this little creature that is so helpless and your heart will throw off fireworks. I could barely look at him the first four days without tearing up simply because my body couldn’t contain my soul and overwhelming sense of amazement. Now, this is important to say: Not everyone has this experience and there is NOTHING wrong with that. Postpartum depression is very real and it’s perfectly normal, so if you find yourself not being able to connect with the baby immediately, don’t worry and give it some time, if you are concerned, seek help and council.…