Eight Weeks With Everett Drew
Remember this post? Talk about long days and short years. Here we are living that truth out all over again.
When I was pregnant with Everett, I imagined his newborn days would be as easy as the ones I had with Lachlan. Lachlan’s newborn days weren’t anything tremendously difficult or far from textbook ordinary but given I had done the new baby boy thing before, I felt ready for Ev and whatever would come our way. I approached my delivery date with very low expectations, feeling a little nonchalant about the responsibilities of another baby. It’s hard to explain it but in hindsight, in my preparing and hoping for a second redemptive birth after such a traumatizing first, I seemed to give very little thought to everything that would follow.
While I know about the dangers of comparison, my experience with Lachlan created a baseline for comparison and as such, we were presented with hurdles in adjusting to our new normal with sweet Ev in the picture. The first week home with Ev was blissful. Constant snuggles on the couch while autumn sunshine poured into the living room, visitors with fresh cooked meals and kind words of encouragement filled our home, hours spent just watching the leaves turn color outside on our trees before falling to the cooling ground, and ample time getting used to new routines and rhythms with two littles under foot and oh yes, a husband and home needing love and attention too. The days felt very long and they were (are) hard but in a slow and savored kind of way.
Earlier this spring, I privately promised myself a sabbatical away from social media and work once our second baby was born, and with the exception of a few photos shared on my personal account for close friends and family, I did just that. I truly rested and focused on the newness around me. But around our third week home it became overly apparent that our sweet snuggly baby was a little different. His movements and development felt off. His temperament was concerning, if not painful to watch. As such, I candidly share how in that first month, I found myself in a battle between loving this new little creature so much it hurts but feeling like a terrible mother because a lot of things I did provided little to no contentment or comfort for him. Even worse for my heart, I found myself thinking what if our baby’s temperament isn’t something for me to ‘fix’ but instead this is exactly the precious human we were blessed with, as is, endless crying and all?
Around Ev’s fifth or sixth week of life my mama intuition told me something definitely wasn’t quite right with him based on not only his non-stop crying but his fussiness and general tenseness (to summarize a long list of things that felt and looked off with him). Diaper changes would bring my poor baby to red-faced screams, most of our awake time brought on panic because they would always lead to endless crying, and anytime Ev was finally asleep I could only find strength to breathe a little and rest my weary soul (and arms). Any photos I shared publicly were merely rare glimmers of a happy baby, slivers of time where I felt like I was doing something right finally. I researched. Googled all the things at 3:00 am. Prayed. Confided in friends. Went to every single doctor, chiropractor, lactation consultant, craniosacral specialist, and finally, a dentist who helped fix a double tongue tie which was creating so many of the problems we were trying to manage.
We’re only two months into the second baby journey and there’s hard days still. I think there’s hard days for every parent regardless of what your baby needs. But over the last week we have seen a new side to our boy come to life and less tears. We’re adjusting to a new season. A hard one but one worth savoring because it’s not forever. Ev is a smiling, vibrant, curious, and mostly calm little (big!) baby. And while we didn’t love him any less when he was the opposite of those things at what felt like every hour of the day, it certainly helps to know he’s much more comfortable and able to explore the new-to-him world without being reduced to screams and endless tears. I find myself feeling so grateful not only for the gift of this boy to our family, but for the last eight weeks and the way they have refined our family, and my heart, in surprising ways. When Lachlan was born so too was a new version of me. And when I thought that might have been the final rebirth of myself, the heavens gave me Ev.
Enjoy some of my favorite scans from our family session when Ev was three weeks new. I remember it being such a hectic day full of tears for everyone except Andrew (who knows, maybe he was crying on the inside haha). The last thing I wanted to do that day was pose for photos in clothes that didn’t fit with dirty hair and kids who were crying but as always, I’m tremendously grateful for the gift of photography and the professionals that beautifully preserve life’s most precious moments like our dear friend Kelly has done for years now for us.
Just two months in and a lifetime to go. We love you so much, Ev.
To anyone who has a colicky or high needs baby, I know how each minute can feel like an hour, and how an hour can feel like an entire day. I know how it feels to see happy babies online, to hear about friend’s newborns who sleep through the night, to watch some mamas move about their days and lives with such grace and ease, while you’re struggling simply to find time to use the restroom without your home or self imploding. I’m not here to tell you it’ll get better because our realities are unique to our private circumstances and I’m still in the thick of it, but I am here to tell you I’m in it with you. And perhaps instead of it getting better, we simply get stronger. You’re a good mama, even on the days, or in the hours, where it feels so very much like the opposite.