I got pregnant. Unexpectedly, unplanned, without maternity insurance. My husband was a graduate student. I was an hourly paid employee at the same college where my husband was pursuing his MBA.
I got pregnant a few weeks before the Mister’s graduation, but I didn’t realize it until I missed my period the following month, and was late by an additional week.
The Mister and I had been very careful when it came to taking precautionary measures against starting a family preemptively.
We had gotten married at the end of July, spent 10 days honeymooning in beautiful Italy, and returned home with only enough time to pack up the remainder of our belongings and make the 750+ mile drive to our new home, far from friends, family, and our jobs.
It ended up being the best way to begin the first two years of our marriage, but there were definite challenges to it (see above) and we were in no rush to take on more at that point.
So our itty bitty was a surprise to say the least.
We had planned to take at least another year post-graduation to enjoy ourselves, now with dual-income. We would travel, every other month, at least! We would eat at fancy restaurants, with entrees we couldn’t pronounce! We would cavort into the wee hours of dawn, and then sleep in all weekend!
I think I’ve made my point clear here.
Well, as you can imagine, that didn’t happen. On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend 2010, we found out we were pregnant. I burst into tears and the Mister had his own private, internal mind explosion while holding me and nervously repeating “It’s OK. It’ll be OK.”
41 weeks later, our daughter was born.
And we fell in love head over heels. Our lives changed forever. And nothing else mattered. And we lived happily ever after.
PSYCHE! HAHA! Gotcha.
This site is titled The Fussy Baby Site. NOT the All Is Quiet on the Western Front site.
Ahem. The real story.
41 weeks later, our daughter was born.
Our doctor pulled our little girl from my body and held her up for us to see.
In that moment, I saw our daughter for the first time. She looked exactly like me. I felt my heart in my throat. I couldn’t breathe, or move, or speak (and for me, that’s saying a lot).
We fell in love head over heels. Our lives changed forever. That much is the truth.
The first few hours after our daughter joined us were bliss. I had a wonderful labor and delivery, and my husband and I were overjoyed by our daughter.
She scored a 9 on her Apgar. She was perfect! We knew it! (Later, we found out the Apgar really means diddly squat.)
I have two favorite memories from the delivery:
1) My husband running around the delivery room like a chicken with his head cut off because the nurses kept telling him to take a picture of our daughter getting weighed,or having her hospital bracelet put on, or whatever.
All he wanted to do was to stare at her and hold her, but they insisted he would regret not having pictures to remember the moment.
It was hilarious, watching him scramble back and forth for the camera, which he kept putting back in its original spot for some reason. Those nurses were right. We are so happy to have those pictures.
2) My all-time favorite memory: As the Mister leaned over our daughter’s bassinet, which they had just placed her in after having weighed her for the first time, he looked up at me. At that moment, our eyes met over our daughter and, in his eyes, I saw the deepest reflection of love, joy, awe, fear, humility, pride, and fulfillment.
Whenever I think back on that moment, my heart skips a beat. That was the moment our family of three was christened.
So it all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Well, it was. Until the epidural wore off. And breastfeeding was *insert very bad word*. And our baby wouldn’t stop crying and wouldn’t sleep. And she developed a fever an hour before we were to check out. And had jaundice. And ended up in the NICU for 4 days (totaling our hospital stay to 6 days).
Thus began some of the most exhausting, challenging, and crazy months of my life.
Seriously, I look back on it now and I feel like some kind of veteran.
My husband and I should have earned a badge or something. You know, maybe one that says “I survived baby boot camp and all I got was this stupid badge.” That sort of thing.
I would write in more detail about it, but I just realized this is my first post and if I included it all here, where would I go from there? I may have already said too much. Oops.
Okay, to sum it up and tie it all together with a flourish!
We got married. We got pregnant. Pregnancy was good. Delivery was good. Post-delivery was, uh, not good. For two months. After those two months, things got better. But slowly. Sometimes, it seemed very slowly. Mostly, this was because our daughter had colic.
What is colic? Who knows? No, it’s not rhetorical. I’m serious. Who knows? Apparently, no one. No physician,
scientist, mom, book, blah blah blah, is able to explain what colic really is.
Colic is only defined as a baby crying for seemingly no reason for a minimum of three hours a day, three days a week, for three weeks.
Let’s just say, my baby got an A+ in colic, and then did some extra credit work.
She is such an overachiever! (haha)
I remember the day my niece was born (only 3 weeks after my daughter). My daughter had been up crying for 5 hours by that time. But there was no way I was going to miss out on meeting my niece stat! So we loaded up the car, and my husband and I drove to the hospital with our wailing daughter.
But don’t babies love car rides and fall asleep in the car?
Oh, dear invisible friend who I’m pretending is reading this. Have you not been following along?
Did I not mention, my baby didn’t like to sleep? She liked to cry. A lot. Oh, yes, she did fall asleep briefly on the car ride but would wake up every time we hit the brakes.
I don’t mean hit the brakes and sit in traffic. I mean for every traffic light, every stop sign, every slowing down of the car in any way, she would wake and wail.
Wake and wail. Wake and wail. Wake and wail. It’s kind of got a catch to it, doesn’t it?
That day, she cried from 8am-6pp with very little intermission.
Now it sounds like I am doing a lot of complaining about my daughter, but you mistake me.
You see, she was just an itty bitty trying to make her way through this big ol’ world.
We were nervous, unprepared, first-time parents who happened to have a daughter with colic. That’s not to say I didn’t do a lot of wondering those first few months when colic was at its peak.
Did I break my child? My child hates me! I’m not doing it right! There must be something wrong with her! She’s in pain! I suck at being a mom! No one wanted to go through colic, my daughter included.
But we did it. We survived. Together.
During one of the early days, my sister held my crying daughter and lovingly called her our screechy peachy. And she was. She was our sweet, soft, delicious peach with a good serving of screech stirred in. Our little screechy peachy.
I remember the first time I realized we were actually going to make it through this thing.
My daughter was less than a week away from turning 8 months old. I lay in bed alone, my husband on business in Texas. I watched my daughter on the baby monitor. She was halfway through her journey to dreamland, quiet and sleepy, playing with her hair and sucking her thumb in that way she does before she falls asleep.
Suddenly, my eyes teared up. 8 months ago, I had broken down crying because I thought I would never be able to go grocery shopping again, let alone watch a movie or hang out with friends.
And now, less than a year later, here I was, holding down the fort alone with my husband miles away, and somehow managing to keep things together.
I’m not super mom.
I never had newborn pictures taken of my peach. She was never still or sleeping for long enough to make them even a possibility.
I am not crafty in the slightest. I am terrible about taking pictures or videos and, when I do, they are almost always on my iPhone.
I have friends who designed their baby’s nursery with skill and ease. Or take breathtaking photos and perfect them further with PhotoShop.
I don’t know know how to make cake pops for birthdays and how to dress their children with just the right mix of contemporary and shabby chic.
I don’t really have any special talents tucked up my sleeve.
But, you know what I am good at? I am THE BEST mom at loving my daughter.
And I am realizing that is all that is really needed. My screechy peachy who is sometimes still screechy but mostly just peachy now (if by peachy you mean high-needs but the delight of my life).
I hope, crazy as this may sound, she doesn’t ever lose that screechy part of her completely. That is my daughter. The one I fell in love with, struggled with, cried over, and fell in love with all over again.
Soo Jin lives in northern New Jersey with her spirited daughter and her husband, the two great loves of her life. She has her Master’s in Elementary Education but is currently working part-time from home for a university. She would list some of her hobbies and interests here but, in all honesty, it’s been a while since anything sounded better than a good ol’ fashioned nap.
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