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Looking ahead

So. Help is gone. I’m about to start my first week alone. Alone taking care of three. I’m feeling a bit nervous tonight just trying to mentally prepare for the craziness that is about to take place.

This whole blood transfusion/hysterectomy ordeal has taken away a bit of my self confidence. I don’t really know why that is. Is it because I still don’t have my usual energy? Is it because of the all too familiar baby blues? Is it because I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I came close to dying? Is it because I’ve been so taken care of the last few weeks that I don’t remember how to run things around here myself? Maybe a little bit of all of the above. Whatever the reason, I’m feeling a bit anxious about the week ahead. Technically, I’m not totally alone. I have a handful of amazing friends and neighbors that have been checking in on me and helping with the girls. Plus people are still bringing in dinners. Kenny and I have been eating better food than ever before! No more Lean Cuisines around here. ;) I have been blown away by the kindness that has been shown to our family during this time.

Probably the main reason I feel a bit unsettled tonight is because I’m so dang tired. Kole is a good baby but he’s not doing me any favors in the sleep department. He is up and ready to eat about every two hours. It’s SO HARD being up all night! Honestly. If newborns just slept through the night, wouldn’t it make all the difference!? Then this stage wouldn’t be my absolute least favorite. I’ve decided that when he turns 3 months old and I’m done forever with newborn madness that Kenny needs to take me out. I’m thinking somewhere really nice. A restaurant that would require a new dress. A really pretty, fancy dress to wear to a really pretty, fancy restaurant. In reality we’ll probably just end up at Outback (I love their sauteed mushrooms). And I’ll probably splurge on a new green shirt to match the 35 other green shirts already in my closet. Whatever. We’ll celebrate just the same. :)

Just a couple pics of my little night owl –

caught another sleepy smile – love them

I’m “re posting” a letter I wrote to myself (back in February when sleep deprivation and hormones weren’t clouding my brain) to help me through the next two months. Time to take a little advice to me from me. Wish me luck this week!


{**Preface – I’ve made no secret of the fact that the “newborn stage” of motherhood is not something I look forward to. I really struggled through this three month phase with both of my girls and am trying to mentally prepare for it one more time. So this is a little note – to me from me. Something that I can pull up and read when I’m in the thick of it. Hopefully it will help.}

Dear Erin,

This is a phase. You will not always feel this way. You will not always look this way. Repeat those three sentences five times. Take five deep breaths. Now read on.

Before you know it your days and nights will be two separate entities once again instead of one never ending black hole. It feels like forever away right now, but in the big scheme of things, it really is such a short period of time.

Be nice to Kenny. Try not to snap at him. Everything isn’t his fault. You’re just tired. In the night, when you’re up with the baby for the fourth time – and he rolls over and half asleep mumbles, “gee babe I’d love to help, but since you’re nursing” …snore snore snore… do NOT smother him with a pillow. This will be tempting, but you need him around to take Ellie to school the next morning.

If you’re feeling depressed, do one of the following. These things always make you feel better.
– Call family or a friend (you have several great friends close by)
– Organize something. A drawer, a closet, the fridge.
– Step outside. Even if it’s just into the backyard for a few minutes. Sunshine works wonders.

– Do NOT go shopping. Retail therapy backfires when you’re still carrying around baby weight.
– Do NOT eat away the blues. This is only a temporary upper that will result in more depression later on. (Besides you ate enough junk food during pregnancy to sustain you forever. And then for a week after that.)
– Do NOT make a drastic change to your hair. Color, cut, OR style. Chances are, you won’t love it and because of the hormonal state you’re in, the consequence of this little decision won’t be healthy for anyone.

Don’t stress when the house is a mess. Don’t stress when the girls are going to school with “daddy ponytails” once again. Don’t stress when at the end of the day you don’t have a nice hot meal ready to serve the family. (Ha! I put that last one in to make myself smile since I rarely have a nice hot meal ready to serve the family.)

Hang in there. This too shall pass. And before you know it, you’ll be going through your pictures on the computer – maybe for a blog post, or scrapbooking, or because you enjoy just looking at them – and you’ll see pictures of your newborn baby boy. He’ll look so unbelievably small and sweet. And you’ll wish so badly that he could be that small again. Just for a few days. So you could smell his cheeks and kiss his little feet and rock him to sleep one more time. Remember this when you feel tired and when the baby is fussy and when the house is a disaster. And try to enjoy every minute you have with your precious newborn boy.

Love, Erin

xoxo, Erin
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34 thoughts on “Looking ahead

  1. Oh Erin! I know your pain! (well in the sleep deprivation dept. anyways…) My Maycee is STILL waking up every 2 hours to nurse and she is seven months old. Although, my other two did the exact same thing…. I hope Kole finds a schedule tht suits him (and you) soon. Hang in there, 4 weeks down already!!

    And I think you should buy yourself a new dress, you do deserve it! Heck why not buy some shoes to match?? I’ll call Nordstrom’s and tell them your coming in… LOL!! hugs frome STG :0)

  2. oh my gosh, i love this! i am not a fan of the newborn phase either but now that my fourth baby and last is 7 months old, i’m wondering where my cuddly baby went…

    this letter is a great idea! i love it!

    hang in there. you’e been through a lot! and soon, very soon, you will be sleeping again. i promise!

  3. I know the restaurant: The Addison! It even sports a familiar name. It’s up at the Grand del Mar….definitely a splurge but it is so nice and has the best food, EVER! You can even add on non-alcoholic drink pairings for each course!

  4. Been thinking of you Erin. It’s so normal for you to feel everything you are feeling.

    One day at a time. :)


  5. Erin,

    So happy to hear your slowly getting better and stronger. It’s always nice to have a sister come visit. I agree with Carly a little outside makes everyone feel a little better. Sit outside and enjoy those beautiful flowers you have. This will be a difficult time for you to get thru but you will be stronger and wiser because of it. I can’t believe how big Kole looks already, he is a cutie. I’m sending you big hugs and will keep you in my thoughts and wishing you good easy days ahead. Take care!!

  6. I’ll be thinking of you today and hope your day goes well. Inspite of all you’ve been through — your sense of humor is there – love the part about geting another green shirt! Its amazing how a new dress or shirt can give us a lift. Hoping you get some rest … you have been through so much.

  7. I think all of the above (with your questions). You are going through a major change and adjustment. I am praying for you…that you believe the words that you write. My mother gave me that same advice just the other day…to believe what I say and write (on my blog). How wise that you wrote that letter for yourself and you need it now more than ever. Hang in there (and think about the nice places Kenny can take you!). I love the smiley picture of Kole :)

  8. You’ll be okay Erin!!! You are an amazing woman, wife and mother! It will only get better from here. I have to tell you though.. I got the baby blues after I had Cole and for two weeks I fought it feeling like I was possessed.. it was the WORST feeling EVER!!! I finally one night broke down and told Curtis I needed a blessing that I couldn’t do this anymore.. He gave me a blessing there in our bedroom.. I went to bed.. I woke up the next morning and never had another sign of it again…. until the next baby but because of those powerful blessings each baby blues episode got much, much shorter… Ask for a blessing they really do help… I know you have had at least one but don’t be afraid to ask for more… You ARE entitled girl!!!!

    Love ya!!

  9. Hi Erin: I can totally relate to everything you are saying..your recovering, feeling overwhelmed, doubting yourself, and the newborn phase..I emailed before about my ectopic recovery, I totally remember once the help and people starting to fade the scariness I felt, with another one at home, I couldnt lift him, he needed to sleep out of his crib etc.. just take it day by day, do something each day to make you feel normal, organize a drawer, do a scrapbook page etc..
    My newborn is now 6 months and finally we are down to 2 feedings a totally relate to sleep deprivation business, this too shall pass, just a blurp in time, remember the cuddles and sweet moments.

    All the best, sending my positive vibes!
    Cheers, Paula O

  10. I love the letter you wrote to yourself! (Such a good idea, by the way) You are a great writer. I always look forward to reading your blog. Praying for your recovery and sleep deprivation with your little one. I realize how difficult this stage is but it too shall pass. Many hugs and prayers sent your way.

  11. I am going to save the letter you wrote to yourself. It’s brilliant! You hit on every temptation I face right after having a baby.

    Continue to feel better!!

  12. i’ve thought about your letter to yourself a lot over the last 3 months. now that my sadie’s 3 1/2 months, life has gotten so much easier in so many ways. the overwhelming stage is over and now she’s getting her little personality! i’ve thought how your honesty is so refreshing that the newborn stage is not your favorite. it is SUPER hard and nothing can prepare you for it. but you’re a pro at it by the 3rd baby ;) you’ll do great, and soon little kole will be big! hang in there!

  13. I loved your letter before and I love it now! You said it perfectly to yourself, you’ll get through this, it’s just a phase! Pretty soon you’ll be baby proofing all drawers so you can keep them organized! Just think it’s already May, only 2 more months and we’ll be hanging out, laughing and Madi and I will be loving on Baby Kole! (WE CAN’T WAIT!) You need something, (well anything that one can provide from long distances) you call me! Love you! Oh and love those pics of Kole, he seems to be sleeping just fine. :)

  14. You’ll do great! It is always hard that first week alone, but you’ll work into a routine. As for the sleep, none of mine were great sleepers…it was the hardest thing for me too. Good luck!

  15. does your little one have his days/nights mixed up? if so, please place a call to your pediatrician & ask for advice how to get back on track. also, could you supplement a feeding in the middle of the night with formula ( ie hubby giving Kole one feeding of formula)? i could go without sleep, but i had to have 5 hours of straight sleep or i was crazy! just know that we are all praying for you & your lovely family & we wihs you good health & happiness!

  16. Erin, I have been thinking of you lots lately. How was your first day? I need to call you to see what I can do to help. Take care of you & remember that one day you will sleep again…and feel like yourself again.
    Call me if you need anything before you hear from me!

    p.s. that picture of Kole smiling in his sleep is ADORABLE!!!

  17. Oh Erin… I am sure you have major anxiety right now. Just the fear of something happening with nobody there…(I can relate to this, I don’t know if you heard about my craziness last summer/fall). Hormones are so, so crazy. I can’t believe the things that they can do to a woman… let alone all that you have been through on top of it all. Just keep your cell phone with you at all times. It is a great comforter!
    I am so sorry about the sleeping part. Maybe you could pump and Kenny could get up every other time with him. Is that a possibility? Does he take a bottle at all?? You poor thing. Your body needs sleep to help heal. Do you have a hard time falling and staying asleep, too, due to all that you have been through?
    I love your letter and I am so glad that you wrote it to yourself. That was such a great idea.
    Keep your head up! This too shall pass!

  18. oh you just brought back some horrible memories. memories of being so sleep deprived I would sit in the bathroom and cry. i hated my husband for sleeping next to me while i was up every 2 hours with the boy. thank goodness he is out of that stage now!

  19. It’s tough… we all know. Although I cherish the newborn stage, I understand the overwhelming, sleep-deprived feeling. Especially when you have 2 other children who want, need and sometimes demand your attention.

    I loved your letter to yourself. So inspired and I bet so very helpful! I would have loved a little note from my well-rested, rational self during those moments when I found myself in a weeping mess on the laundry room floor!

    Good luck the next two months. You’ve dealt with so much already, I can only imagine your strength will pull you though. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  20. Erin you are so cute! I love your way with words! Enjoy this sweet little baby – he really is adorable! Continue to rest as much as possible!

  21. Erin, you are amazing. Even though you can tell in your posts that you are not your good old self, I just loved reading your letter to yourself again. All of it is SOOO true. Hang in there and before you know it, Kole will be 3 mos, and hopefully that will be your magical number. Heid’s Whitney is already 9 mos. and she is still waiting for her to outgrow the “hard” stage!! Love you tons.

  22. Boy, you’re post brought back memories! I was the same way after each of my 4 kids were born.(My youngest is now 9) Just remember, it won’t always be this way, you won’t always feel like this. What I used to do on my worst days; get a family memeber to watch the kids for an hour or so, and my husband and I would go for a long drive. Sometimes we’d hit the drive through and eat while we drove, other times it was just a nice cold Coke. There wasn’t a lot of talking, sometimes crying, sometimes silence. Taking a break, and getting out always seemed to help. Hang in there and know you are not alone!

  23. Erin!! You know I love that letter!! LOVE the talking to yourself, and yes I’m still talking to myself! love you, and can’t wait to see you again.

  24. What a scary ordeal you have encountered! I’m so thankful that you have good friends and neighbors, what a difference that makes. You children are beautiful and your baby is GORGEOUS…my daughter had a very similar situation with her last baby, we almost lost her but thankfully she is doing well and so is her precious little one. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

  25. So much fun at the park yesterday with you and Shari and Katy!!!! I loved it. It really was the old Erin back! And just remember…I am living proof! :)

  26. Been thinking about you this week. I hope everything is going well during your 1st “solo” week at home. I hope you do not mind but I “borrowed” your letter idea and personalized it for me. I will be in your shoes in just a few short days. Take Care!

  27. Well, hopefully you ARE able to actually enjoy this moment and stage in life. I wouldn’t wish what happened to you AT ALL, but hopefully what did happen made it help you to be able to slow down and not get down for not doing what you are so used to accomplishing, plus cuddling your baby. Anyway, I love your posts. Keep on keeping on!

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