July 19, 2017

The Magical 3 Month Mark

From the very beginning this guy has been a pretty easy baby.  Even though I had a somewhat difficult delivery, we bonded quickly and he did really well from the beginning.  He was a great sleeper his first month and was pretty go with the flow.  We were able to get out a lot and continue at a pretty good pace.  Our one difficulty from day one has been feeding.  But I knew a lot of people struggle with feeding in the very beginning.  And I'd had several friends tell me it gets a little better each day/week and then  around 6 weeks it seems to be pretty effortless.  So I held on to that and we pressed on.

Then we hit 6 weeks and feeding was still pretty much a disaster.  I remember feeling a little frustrated because it was supposed to be better by that point.  And I even questioned if we needed to make changes to what we were feeding him at that point.  But I just figured that due to the extra supports he had needed, it would just take Cooper a little longer to get it.  And he was getting better slowly, so we kept at it and he seemed happy.

And then we kept hearing about this magical 3 month mark.  Almost everyone we talked to--whether we talked about any struggles with Cooper or not--would say that at 3 months things get so much easier.  Sleep is better.  Feeding is more efficient.  Everyone just made it seem like 3 months was the magical point to get to.  Obviously, it didn't mean everything would suddenly be easy then, but we just kept hearing "wait until 3 months, it gets so much better."

Well we are 19 days into Cooper being 3 months.  And he's still struggling with feeding.  And his sleep is actually worse than it was for his first 2 months.  I was up in the middle of the night with him a couple of weeks ago and I was having a rough time.  I didn't understand why things were still so hard when everyone made it seem like they should be better.  What were we doing wrong?  Why wasn't he getting better?  I cried and then I promptly fell back asleep (because it was 3 in the morning).

Then a new day dawned.  And as is usually true, things looked a lot better in the daylight.  I realized I was holding so tightly to these ideals that I was placing unrealistic expectations on us.  Parenting is so hard.  And people want to be encouraging and a lot of times one of the most encouraging things to hear is "you're not alone.  this will get better."  But then there are the moments when that "encouragement" actually makes you feel more alone--when things don't get better the same way they did for everyone else.  And I realized that had I not had this idea in my head that things should be better by now, then I wouldn't have cared as much what Cooper was or wasn't doing.  Remember the very first thing I said in this post?  Cooper is an easy baby.  And it's still true.  Even though he doesn't sleep as much as is recommended.  And even though he may not be getting enough to eat (we're working with some professionals to figure that out).  He is so incredibly happy.  And so very easygoing.  And such a delight to be around.  And I was missing that because I could only focus on what he wasn't doing.  So then I had to let go of this idea of a turning point coming soon and just focus on where we are now.  I have so much to be grateful for.  Top of the list?

The fact that my hope is not in this guy.  Because if all I did was turn from one ideal to focus on how well he's doing, then it can all easily fall apart when he has a bad day.  I am so thankful that my hope is in One who is greater than either Cooper or I.  That we have a loving Father who holds us both in his hands-- during the 3 am wake ups when we're both crying and during the giggles and kisses.  And that no matter what Cooper does tomorrow, I don't have to fear because God is in control.  So instead of hoping in Cooper meeting the next milestone, I hope in Someone more eternal.  And it takes a lot of pressure off of me and Coop.

So maybe that's our magical 3 month mark.  When I let go of some of my expectations and tried to let go of my sense of control.  And remembered the daily surrender of trusting God with our family.

1 comment:

erin m said...

Love you friend! ❤️