I've decided that not all of the posts on this blog are going to be letters. Because there's simply so many other things going on in our lives that need to be documented and talked about for therapeutic reasons... and much of it is not appropriate to write in a letter to a baby. Even though the babies will be reading this when they're not babies... it just seems wrong somehow.
So, without further ado...
Four weeks into life with Amelia and things are going so. much. better. than they did with Hazel. I don't know if Hazel was a particularly difficult baby, or we were just that inept. I suspect it's a healthy dose of both. Benny and I were used to a life of quiet in our house. We were used to sleeping through the night and if we did happen to wake up in the middle of the night, it wasn't anything a little Nyquil or Tylenol PM couldn't fix.
But you're not allowed to give that to babies, so when Hazel was waking up every 30 minutes (or so it seemed) at night... well, we were understandably perplexed. Added to the wake ups was the fact that Benny was struggling with pneumonia so he wasn't nearly as patient and wasn't enjoying fatherhood so much. He obviously needed to get some sleep, so a lot of the care taking at night fell on me. Which is fine... but man, was it frustrating. Then when Hazel went through her "Purple Crying" phase, where she would scream every night from 4-10 p.m.... well, that just about did me in. We actually thought that it would never get better. That even when she was 18 years old, she'd STILL BE CRYING. She's almost 18 months now, and sometimes it feels as though we're right... toddlers are FUN.
Anyway, an experience like that changes you. Forever. And yet... we still decided to have another one. We figured that we'd just be miserable for the next four months and then try to recover from it. Hopefully, without use of medical substances. Or illegal ones.
But, Millie is drastically different from Hazel so far. We call her Chilly Millie. She is pretty relaxed and I can even put her in her bouncy seat or the swing, wide awake, and take a shower. And not just a quick shower... a legitimate shower. I always get out of the shower fully expecting a screaming fit in the living room... but it's always quiet and sometimes when I check on her she'll be snoozing. Other times she'll be wide awake, just looking around. I remember taking showers while Hazel was screaming so loudly I could hear it while showering. Those were also the times I was crying in the shower.
Speaking of the swing, Hazel loved the swing. Would spend hours in it rocking. We would have paid $1,000 for that thing. Millie? Could take it or leave it. She's okay with it if she's not actually swinging. I wonder if she's got Benny's motion sickness issues. She does sleep in the swing at night right now because... awesomeness of awesomeness, guess who got sick at 13 days old and has to sleep sitting up for the drainage? Yea. That's been fun.
Millie is a fan of the car seat... where Hazel was unequivocally NOT. I don't remember in the first 2 months if we were ever able to put Hazel in the car seat without her screaming and crying. Millie? No big gig. It's almost TOO easy.
I don't know... maybe it's that I'm more patient with Millie because I know that it actually does get better. Maybe I'm trying to do penance for how terrible I was with Hazel... how completely impatient and inadequate I was with her... how I actually thought that she should be able to get her shit together and let her cry it out at FOUR. WEEKS. OLD!!! Seriously... poor, poor Hazel.
So, I guess that there are differences between the two girls so far, yes. But really... I think the difference is how Mommy and Daddy handle things. Hazel... she taught me about babies. About having babies. And living with babies. About letting go of my former life because my life is now her. It was hard for me to grasp that concept when she was screaming 6 hours a night. I kept remembering how awesome my former life was. I was afraid I wasn't going to adjust or appreciate this new life. I was afraid I wasn't going to bond with her. I was afraid that I could never be the mother she deserved and that surely, someone else would do better at raising her. Millie... well, Millie is teaching me that I have learned from my mistakes and that I may just deserve this title of "Mommy".