My baby boy came into the world in late September and nobody knew what he needed. We were all watching to see when he cried and what we could do to soothe him. Does he need his diaper changed? Is he hungry? Does he want to be held? Does he want to be swaddled? Does he need to be burped? Maybe he’s tired?
I apologized to visitors for the first month when he cried and I had no magic tricks up my sleeve to get him to stop. They were so good with holding him and giving me a break but I felt like I was failing.
I cried in the bathroom while texting my sister that I thought I had given birth to an unhappy child. She listened and tried to offer other suggestions to help out.
Month two came and the wisdom of the pediatrician who said that she thought he might need more to eat than I was able to produce at that time. She sweetly said we could wait and see how he was doing at the next visit but that I could start to supplement with some formula now if I felt comfortable with that. I again had those failure pangs in my heart but was not reluctant to do what was best for my baby. If it helped him not be so upset all of the time, it was the right thing to do.
More ounces did the trick! He wasn’t crying so often and I started to feel like I was getting the hang of things.
Crowned “The Baby Whisperer”
I knew that:
- he didn’t cry when he had a dirty diaper, he could care less
- he didn’t need to be aggressively burped because it only made him throw up; he mostly burped on his own
- if I tried the pacifier when he was trying to put his hands in his mouth and he pushed it right back out, he was hungry
- that when he was starting to show signs of being sleepy, he needed something to hold that he could put over his face
- that if I was changing his diaper he was going to get cranky if I didn’t use a warm wipe and put a blanket over the top half of him to keep him snuggly
I had earned the title of Baby Whisperer, finally, and relished in that feeling for the rest of my time at home.
Back to Work
The time came for me to go back to work and for my husband to stay home full-time. I left the house knowing that my baby was in good hands. I didn’t have to have a stack of rational and irrational fears about dropping him off at a child care center. I woke up that first morning, went to the gym to workout, got ready in the locker room, and headed off to work so there was no teary goodbye.
I didn’t count on the evening at home being as emotionally gut-wrenching as it was. I got into the house and immediately picked our son up and planned to spend all the time I had holding him and trying to make him smile so I could feel the bond again that we had. Unfortunately, he didn’t want to look at me while I held him. He spent the evening tracking my husband around the room and screaming at me most of the time while I attempted to feed him.
This was the first step in me losing my title that I worked so hard to earn and my husband getting promoted to the job instead.
Husband Takes the Crown
He is the go to for the tips and tricks on how to take care of him these days. He knows that he has some dry skin patches on his chest that need lotion applied to them daily. He recognizes that in his left ear, there’s a blackhead that’s appeared. He knows when he’s eaten, how much he’s had to eat, and how many diapers he’s changed as a result. He takes him to his pediatrician appointments and gets to comfort him when he gets a Spiderman band aid after his shots. He’s found the special spots under his chin where he can kiss and nuzzle in order to elicit the most precious smiles and giggles I have ever seen and heard.
I am heart broken and filled with pride that my husband is such an intuitive father. I am crying for my lost title and blessed that my son gets his daddy to be the one to know him so intimately. I am not the Baby Whisperer anymore. I’m learning to love my husband more because he is.