Finally, the big moment arrived and our first baby, Bailey, was born on August 15, 1997. I was on a high that you can’t explain in words. We were first time parents and everything was so new and exciting. We felt this all-encompassing love. A love you can’t describe but knew if anything took this love away your life would be shattered. She was beautiful and sweet and made from love . . . and then reality hit.
Once things settled down and the high began to fade I discovered that it was just me and the baby all day every day. A baby who liked to cry and wanted to be held all the time. A baby who had her days and nights mixed up. I couldn’t believe how something weighing less than eight pounds could cause so much havoc. I pride myself in having a strong disposition. I managed to play a collegiate sport and get a nursing degree, I worked full time while I earned my Master’s degree and I have been able to manage on my own hundreds of miles away from family. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be taken down by a 7 lb. 10 oz. pooping machine. I realized for the first time what a crucial component sleep is for the normal functioning of the human body. I had pulled a few all-nighters in college but I always had the next day to catch up on my sleep. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel but this. . . I could see no end. Every night from 12:00 am until 5:00 am she cried and then she would sleep all day no matter what I did to keep her awake. I tried to sleep during the day with her but it was hard because my body was so programmed to being up and at work. When she slept is when I got things done. How could I be at home all day and not get anything done? I hated that one question from my husband, “What did you do today?” He wasn’t asking out of spite. He was just trying to be kind and involved, so I needed to be able to tell him something besides “Kiss my ass”. How could he come home to a pile of dirty laundry and no dinner on the table when I have been at home all day? How could someone who used to work a full day, workout, cook dinner, and volunteer at the food pantry not be able to get one load of laundry done while being at home all day? These were the thoughts that consumed me.