Thoughts from a Mother of 6 Months

by Ashley on August 14, 2013

I have been a mother for 6 months and 6 days.

There has been good and bad, as I expected. What I didn’t expect was just how much good and how much bad there would be.

For example, I expected my baby to cry. Babies cry. It’s natural.

What I didn’t expect was just how much my baby would cry. That did not seem natural. No one warns you about that.

Crying really needs to be part of the childbirth class. Or maybe a new parents class. Do they have those? I never saw one offered.

Another example: I expected to love my baby. Mothers love their babies. It’s natural.

What I didn’t expect was just how much I would love my baby. She’s so beautiful. The first night in the hospital, I couldn’t stop looking at her.

Six months later, I still can’t stop looking at her. She’s even more beautiful than when she was born.

I didn’t know that I wouldn’t like having a newborn. She cried. So. Much.

Even in the hospital, we sent her to the nursery – something I had been adamantly against doing – because she wouldn’t stop crying.

She did not like sleeping in the sterile plastic box that was her hospital bed. She didn’t like being so exposed to the world. She only stopped crying when she was lying next to me or in my arms or her daddy’s arms.

So I pulled her close in my hospital “bed” (and if you’ve ever spent the night in a hospital, you know why “bed” is in quotes) and we snuggled and she stopped crying and she slept.

Co-sleeping is generally frowned upon, especially in the hospital. Mothers are chastised if their babies do not sleep in their cold plastic boxes.

But my baby would sleep only if she were next to me. So sleep next to me she did. I wasn’t going to tell her no.

She didn’t stop crying when we brought her home, either. She cried unless she was in our arms.

She cried when we put clothes on her.

She cried when we took clothes off of her.

She cried during her bath.

She cried if we put her down.

She cried if she was alone.

She cried if she was in the car.

She cried when she was going to sleep.

She cried when she woke up.

She cried in her swing, in her bouncy seat, on a blanket, in her bassinet.

She was a terrible newborn.

Thankfully, she’s a very good baby.

I have learned I don’t like having a newborn, but I enjoy very much having a baby.

She still cries, but now I know why, and I know how to fix it. And most times, I know when it will happen and can prevent it.

We’re in a good place.

We’re both still learning, she and I. She learns about being a baby, and I learn about being a mother.

I have already made so many mistakes. Every time, in tears, I have begged her forgiveness.

She is quick to forgive, and I’m thankful for that.

I’ve learned that people are quick to offer advice about what you “should” do. And that’s strange to me because they don’t know my baby like I do. It would be better, I think, to tell me a story about what worked for them, rather than telling me what will work for me.

But that will never happen. And that’s OK. I’ll go on ignoring them and doing what’s best for my baby.

I do enjoy hearing others’ stories, though. It’s helpful and reassuring and pleasant to learn from other mothers, especially ones that are going through the same things at the same time.

When I listen carefully, though, my baby is my best teacher.

We discover lovely secrets about our babies when we listen with all of our senses.

The sound of her chattering to herself when she plays.

The smell of clean baby hair brushing against my cheek.

The sight of her smiling eyes when I peek at her around a corner.

The softness of her skin in places where my skin is no longer soft.

The taste of tiny fingers that she holds up for me to kiss while she nurses.

Two years ago, I wasn’t sure I wanted children. I think I would have been happy without them, but I’m certain I would have always wondered how my life would have been different, better, worse.

Now, though. Oh, now! Now, I can’t even remember my old life. It doesn’t even register anymore.

There were times that I desperately missed my old life (most of that awful newborn phase, in fact).

But now, I wouldn’t trade this new life for anything.

And now I look back at that miserable newborn phase and I miss it because I’m relieved that it’s over. I wish I could go back and do it again, do it better.

But I can’t, so instead I do better in this moment.

I want to soak up this moment, every moment, bottle it up so I can keep it forever.

I have filled my phone’s memory to the brim at least three times, trying to capture every bit of her.

Time still goes too fast.

But I always seem to love the next step as much as I loved the previous one.

And I can’t wait to see what she’ll do tomorrow.



Wait until your second. 🙂

Not all newborns cry so much. My son was a crier — all night long. By morning, he was sleeping like an angel. It made my thoughts of running away seem so silly. LOL

My daughter slept through the night nearly a week out of the hospital. She was GOOD. Never fussed, hardly made a peep until the teeth came in. Then all hell broke loose.

She’s 24 going on 25. Things haven’t changed. LOL

by Lori on August 14, 2013 at 8:04 am. Reply #

Hey Lori! Seems like everyone I know had a baby at the same time, and they would all tell me how good their newborns were. “Oh, he hardly ever cries.” “Oh, she already sleeps through the night.”


But after I realized how quickly the time was passing, I started enjoying her more, even though she cried and wouldn’t sleep without me.

Now I try to remember to count my blessings before complaining about them 😉

by Ashley on August 14, 2013 at 10:33 am. Reply #

Delia is a lucky baby. The only thing that matters is that you love her. And when you love her, you will listen to her. Although she obviously already loves you, in time she will learn to listen to you. Until she turns 13. But that’s another story. Thanks for such an honest and touching story, Ashley!

by Susie Gonzalez on August 14, 2013 at 11:05 am. Reply #

Ha! Susie, you’re right – especially about the being 13 part. I’m pretty sure my mom hated me when I was 13. 😉 At least I have a few years before I have to worry about that!

by Ashley on August 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm. Reply #

Popped in from SA bloggers! My husband and I have been trying to have kids for two years, and sometimes I wonder if I even want to keep fighting. But your words make me bawl, and realize I’ll keep fighting to get my own crying newborn!

by Blond Duck on August 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm. Reply #

Hi Blond Duck! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 For me, motherhood has been worth every tearful moment, and I pray you’ll be courageous as you continue the fight. You and your hubby will be in my prayers. Please keep in touch.

by Ashley on August 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm. Reply #

Oh do you take me back! My youngest son had colic… but he only cried at a certain time of day… that was bad enough!

The only thing I regret about my motherhood is not paying even more attention to my intuition than I did. You’re totally on the right track.

Love and blessings,


by Anne Wayman on August 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm. Reply #

Anne – I know exactly what you mean about crying at a certain time of the day. That was the worst. There was no consoling her.

It’s scary counting on intuition, but we’ve kept her alive for more than six months, so I’m hopeful 😉

Thanks for dropping by!

by Ashley on August 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm. Reply #

Thank you for the deeply personal and honest story, Ashley. It was touching to read. My first isn’t born yet, but the countdown is on (18 days til due date). I often wonder how life will be after his arrival. I know my life has already changed so much being pregnant, and I’m in for a different challenge any day now. Like you, a couple of years ago I contemplated whether we would have a child. Life already seemed good, but I wondered if it could be even better with a family. For instance, in our 60s, would Bret and I regret not having a grown child to check on, love, visit, call… I bet it’ll be worth all the aches and pains, all the sleepless nights, all the mistakes, and all the learning experiences. Thanks again for sharing your experience with Delia.

by Amy Marshall on August 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm. Reply #

Hey Amy! Wow, 18 days! Those last few days were so exciting for me, especially because I knew we could be parents at any moment. But I also sometimes felt like the pregnancy would never end. Not so much that I was miserable or uncomfortable – just that it had been going on so long and seemed like it wouldn’t change. Maybe that’s weird? I don’t know.

Good luck in your last few days as a twosome. I was surprised how much she changed not only my own life, but also our marriage. For better and for worse 🙂

by Ashley on August 15, 2013 at 10:07 pm. Reply #

Beautiful reflection, Ashley. My daughter wasn’t a crier, but she wasn’t a sleeper, either. Not for two. long. years. Luckily, she was very sunny during the day. 🙂

by Sharon Hurley Hall on August 16, 2013 at 10:51 am. Reply #

Haha! I’m glad, for your sake, Sharon, that at least she was a happy baby! This wee one is a wonderful sleeper now, but I don’t want to say that too loudly. Every time she hears me brag about her sleeping, she decides to stop doing it 😉

by Ashley on August 16, 2013 at 11:45 am. Reply #

Hey Girl! I remember you asking me about having kids. I could not put into words the feelings that they bring out in you and why on earth you would want to have them. However, your words describe it perfectly! I wish I had them when you asked. Kids rock your world in many ways!

by Meredith on August 19, 2013 at 10:11 am. Reply #

Hey Meredith! You know, I might not have believed you even if you did tell me all these things. This kind of love can only be felt, never explained. If there are words to describe it, I certainly don’t have them! 🙂

by Ashley on August 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm. Reply #

Ashley, just remember that crying is a baby’s only way to communicate. When somebody told me that I understood my daughter’s crying better. But then they learn to talk, which is a blessing and a curse. Those first few words, you’re like, ‘Aw, she said something!’ Now my daughter is five and she talks from the minute she wakes up until the minute she falls asleep – NO exaggeration. She’s talking to me right now as I type this.

by Greg on August 22, 2013 at 10:41 pm. Reply #

Hahaha! You’re right — I can’t wait to hear her first word!

I think it’s the communication aspect of crying that frustrated me. When I did every possible thing I could think of to make her happy, she still cried. Changed, fed, held, rocked, etc. etc. I knew she was trying to tell me something, but I couldn’t understand her. Someone eventually told me an eye-opening and relieving revelation — sometimes they just cry. Knowing that helped me feel calmer and better able to handle the crying. Understanding is key, isn’t it? Thanks for reading!

by Ashley on August 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm. Reply #

I have to say that one of the traits I have learned to embrace as a new mom is honesty, to myself mostly. The moment I began to be honest about how I felt (happy, excited, sad, disappointed, etc.) and realized it is OK to have those feelings, I was able to get past my idea of being the perfect mom and just started being a mom, MY WAY. I stopped comparing myself to my own mom or other moms close to me. I realized I’m the best mother my children can have; that is why God chose me to be their mom.

I agree with you completely when you mention the advise part of being a new mom. I had solicited and unsolicited advice coming at me all the time. My biggest frustration was that even though everyone’s intentions were good (at least I’d like to think that), they sounded to me like criticism more than advise.

I’m also a special case since I had 2 babies at once and I was a new mom. I remember feeling so helpless when Sofi cried all the time. Thank God for my pediatrician who was able to identify that she had an issue with acid reflux which was the root of her crying mostly. As soon as we were able to give her medicine to help her get to 6 months of age, she hardly ever cried again and she quickly learned to sleep 10 hours straight during the night. Sebi was such an amazing baby that we hardly ever had any issues with him.

My doctor was right, 6 months old is a magical time for babies. It seems that once we get to 6 months, babies learn to adjust to their new environment. I’m not saying we don’t have meltdowns anymore (those are the norm at our house with two 2-year-olds and a 4 month old), but now, I feel empowered because I got over the feeling that I was a horrible mother who couldn’t take care of her babies.

No one can really prepare us to be mommys. We can only be the best we can to our children which may not be the same as our moms, but it’s OK. I’ve since stopped comparing myself to my mom (as we affectionately call her the Mexican Martha Stewart on steroids. She can literally do every possible thing you can imagine).

I just do the best that I can to love my babies (all 3). I think that is enough to qualify me as the greatest mom in the world! 🙂

by Vero on August 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm. Reply #

Yes, Vero, you are an amazing mom. And we are in complete agreement. I’m finally feeling more confident in my ability to mother my child. I know I’m not always going to be perfect, and I’m going to learn a lot from other mothers and fathers. But listening to my baby and my intuition has helped a lot, and both told me that I’m not so bad at this mothering thing after all 🙂

by Ashley on August 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm. Reply #

Omgosh. I forgot your blog. I just read this one. I could not agree more. However I’ve only recently been able to admit to it. I love my girls and I agree each new age is the best and surprising and fun but each morning as I drop my youngest off at preschool I walk past the newborns. The screaming That new born cry- I can barely handle it in snippets. Lillians colic sent me into an emotionally crippled state. I swear I have PTSD. Seriously. I’d never change my walk in motherhood. But I can say – publicly now- I do NOT miss the newborn phase. I am thankful for my girls. I love your writing Ashley!

by Ashley Edwards on February 21, 2014 at 7:30 pm. Reply #

Thanks, Ashley! We have a few recordings of her newborn cry. It certainly brings back memories — horrific ones! But she seems to have gotten it all out of her system. She’s a joy now 🙂

by Ashley on February 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm. Reply #

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