Out of the Darkness and Into the Light


Not a lot of new moms publicly use the word “dark” to describe their first months with a new baby and I certainly didn’t expect that I would be one of them, but our time getting to know Hennie James has been dark and discouraging in more ways than one. Even though we have an amazing ‘village’ of supporters I often felt isolated from friends and family who were enjoying the Fourth Trimester with their newborns. I felt guilty for not feeling the same way and anxious about Hennie’s health problems. I haven’t felt comfortable leaving the house with her and despite knowing deep down that it wasn’t the case, I felt like my screaming child hated me or at least hated being alive – what else could you assume about someone who wailed during every waking moment? Even in a literal sense that time was dark; Hen was born in early November on the very day that the clocks turned back and we lost an hour of sunlight each day. She came into our lives with the winter, and not one of our usual mild Vancouver winters but a record long, cold winter, the first in decades.

Anyone who knows us knows how tough it’s been. Close friends and cousins have endured my miserable midnight texts and my exasperated questions and responded with sympathy, understanding, and best of all: no judgment. I can never thank those people enough (you know who you are, I’m sure), and those same people will share our jubilant relief that the long, dark winter has broken!

Lately our girl is a different baby. She wakes up smiling and lights up when she sees us. She allows us to hold her and cuddle her and behaves the way I expected a baby to behave before I knew this one. The list of things she dislikes is still a long one but she doesn’t scream for no reason anymore, and she doesn’t hate life or her parents. In fact, she really seems to love us. And it is a love this mama has been waiting four long months for.

The snow finally cleared as the clocks changed again last week. Since then our home has been filled with sunshine in every sense of the word. Hopefully Hurricane Hennie is behind us. The first day of Spring is tomorrow and we are so ready for the fun seasons ahead with Happy Hennie!

Hennie James: Four Months

Hen is such a fun age right now – it seems like every few days she is learning a new skill and showing it off! She is rolling over from her tummy to her back, is laughing and holding her head up more easily, and loves to stand. She likes sitting in her high chair at the dinner table while we play cards and also likes straightening her legs when we’re changing her so we can’t get her pants on. She loves to use her voice and just discovered how to squeal and screech! So cute… so high pitched. She is also finally gaining some control over her hands and can grasp things very well, a fact that I found out the hard way when I dared to wear dangly earrings last weekend. Our current struggles include convincing her to take a bottle and attempting to troubleshoot that dreaded four month sleep regression. Her naps have become much shorter and it takes a lot longer to get her to sleep in the evenings, but we’re getting enough sleep to get by so we’re thankful for that (and for coffee). We just got the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit to ease the transition from being tightly swaddled while she sleeps.

Nicknames: Little Turd, Hennie Bugaloo, Smiley Cyrus, Droolia Roberts, Lil’ Bum, and her daddy also loving calls her Gobbers.

Hennie Likes: sitting up and standing (with help, of course), looking at faces, mirrors, playing airplane, chatting after a big feed, the swing at the park, testing her voice, and testing our patience. 

Hennie Dislikes: having clothes pulled over her head, being held by someone other than mum or dad, falling asleep without being bounced, sleeping in, and missing out (aka she needs her parents to be within her view at all times or else). 

Happy four months, Hennie Bugaloo!