Eyes Wide Not Shut: The First Three Months of Motherhood

February 11, 2016

Umm … apparently I gave birth to a human baby nearly three months ago. This is what they tell me, at least. And there are pictures to prove it, so I guess it happened.

I’m sorry I haven’t blogged about it all yet. I keep wanting to update my blog template and become an awesome sahm (that’s how all the cool people on the What to Expect mommy forums abbreviate stay-at-home-mom) blogger-type person, but then I have to choose between eating, showering, dressing, or watching The Bachelor while my son takes his 30 minute nap (he should be napping for 1.5 hours, but he scoffs at that idea), and in conclusion, I never blog. But I do know what Ben and Olivia and Chris Harrison are up to.

However, today is a new day!

So, my life has completely changed in every way. And in theory I knew that was happening, but then it happens. And then you realize that Rachel’s life after having a baby on Friends is not realistic. Because you never see that baby — Emma apparently doesn’t cry or eat or need attending to. You’re free to go to Central Perk alone every afternoon. And Rachel’s body is amazing immediately. And she’s not in pajamas until noon every day. And she’s not crying about the pain of breastfeeding. Thanks for nothing, Hollywood!

Anyway, back to my baby. This is Theodore Dale William Snyder. Theo for short. (Because with a name that ridiculously long, you need a “for short.”) Hi, little Theo!

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He was born on November 19, a week after my due date. Lazy.

I had to be induced, which meant that I spent the night going through early labor, and then the next morning was only 2.5 centimeters dilated, which was not cute. But THEN! The doctor broke my water at 8:30 in the morning and somehow I had delivered Theo by 11:24 — three hours later. Here are a few quick points about this labor and then we’ll move on before we get TMI:

  1. A fast labor is nice because three hours and you’re done!
  2. A fast labor is terrible because those are the most painful, intense, deathly hours of your life. No breaks in between contractions. No “stages” of labor. No relief. No fun.
  3. When you have a fast labor, you might give up all resolution to go med free and then beg for an epidural but then suddenly be dilated to an eight and realize that you are about to die and push out a baby and there will be no pain relief because there’s no time!
  4. If your doctor wants to monitor your contractions and the baby’s heartbeat your entire labor, you may as well give up on life. Being stuck in that bed is the worst and you won’t be able to do any of the massages or walks or baths that your classes tell you will make labor bearable.
  5. Suddenly you’re done! And you seriously feel nine gazillion times better within three seconds. And you never even look to see what the doctor may be stitching or piecing back together because suddenly your very own baby is on your chest and you did it and he’s beautiful.
  6. It happens how it happens. Fast, slow, epidural, pain, whatever. And somehow you don’t die, and somehow your body does what it’s supposed to, and somehow Jesus helps you, and somehow you suddenly have a son and become a family.
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8 lbs 7 oz. Theo, not me.

Wow. Being pregnant and giving birth shows you a whole new aspect of God and his care and creativity. He formed Theo inside of me. And he created me to be able to bring him life. And he made my body to be able to sustain him afterwards. It’s quite amazing, really.

Stretches with Wolves

Stretches with Wolves

So I had Theo in November and then began the process of healing and nursing and being awake for the rest of my life. The first three to four weeks were really hard. My body hurt in so many ways. I felt like all I did was feed him. He would be inconsolably fussy in the evenings. But my mom was there and Andrew’s mom was there and they were so helpful. Andrew was amazing and kept us scheduled when I couldn’t think straight. At three weeks old we traveled to the States so Theo could celebrate his first Christmas with my family. Then we spent time with Andrew’s family. And then suddenly Theo was six weeks old and I was going to take care of him by myself. How can something that weighs ten pounds and can’t move anywhere on its own be so terrifying? I don’t know, but it can.

Our little teacup piglet!

Our little teacup piglet!

Theo's a good eater. He's a cheerful, chubby kind of fellow.

Theo’s a good eater. He’s a cheerful, chubby kind of fellow.

And now we are somehow at 12 weeks! Everyone you talk to and everything you read says that it gets a bit easier at around the three month mark. And when you’re two weeks in, that reassurance makes you want to kill everyone because three months is years away and you’ll certainly be dead of sleep deprivation and nursing pain by then.

A rare moment of sleep.

A rare moment of sleep.

But we’re here. And I can already feel how much easier it is. He is learning to put himself to sleep a bit better. His naps are gradually becoming more dependable. Nursing is a million times better. He smiles and giggles and is becoming so much fun. (He still needs to practice sleeping longer at night, but we’ll get there. Right? Please?)

Yes, this white child with blue eyes came out of my body. He's only a quarter black. Like the Psych singing group.

Yes, this white child with blue eyes came out of my body. He’s only a quarter black. Like the Psych singing group.

I love this little friend. It is cliche, but I love him more than I thought I could. Being a parent is very different. It is very hard. And it is very amazing. Little by little as I go through this process, I understand a bit better how deep is the Father’s love for us. Vast beyond all measure.

Thanks for reading friends! I was interrupted about 1,000 times while writing this post, even though it was “nap time.” But hopefully I’ll get to write again soon. Goodbye from Theo and me!

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9 Responses to “Eyes Wide Not Shut: The First Three Months of Motherhood”

  1. Shantelle said

    My mind actually ran on you a short while ago and I thought about how much I missed your posts and about how you are making out with the little one, amazing how I just saw your post, definitely the Holy Spirit. Stay blessed and I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ strengthens you for each new day with little Theo. πŸ™‚

  2. danielle said

    loved the post! it may be just enough to inspire me to finish mine – I keep having to change how many weeks old he is in it cuz it’s taken me so long to write it. wish Theo and Pierce could meet! they’d be BFFs for sure!

  3. Denise Morris Snyder said

    Shantelle, thank you so much!! I appreciate the encouragement!

  4. Denise Morris Snyder said

    Danielle, write it! (Although it did take me forever.) They’d definitely be BFFs and have joint birthday parties!

  5. Anonymous said

    Love hearing this update. You always make me smile. See. πŸ˜€

  6. He is beautiful πŸ™‚

  7. Clarissa said

    He is so handsome. I love your post. Congratulations and welcome to motherhood! Your comment cracked me… that this white skinned, blue eyed baby did come from you πŸ˜‚ Reminded me of Kazmir, looks like that little fireball came from different parents.
    I really hope to meet little Theo some day. Bet your mom and dad are over the moon. In the meantime, love it when you blog! Your family is beautiful, Denise. Love you

  8. julieabel said

    Bwaaaaa! Filed under “This is Not a Mommy Blog” hilarious. Love you friend. Your cute baby is the bestest.

  9. Jennelle said

    Beautifully (and humorously) said πŸ™‚

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